WhoshouldIsee Tracks

Circle Housing

  • Housing Associations & Government
  • Pancras Square, London
  • 15,000 sq ft

Project Overview

IT and AV Design, Procurement and Project Management for inspirational new collaborative environment which has enabled business process improvements, flexible working and hot-desking.

Technologies & Innovations

Desktop devices and printing; pervasive wireless; AV; Meeting Room technology; Smart Boards; Digital Signage; Passive Network; SCS; Comms Room; WAN; Cloud-based hosting.

The Client

Circle Housing is an organisation of many parts which came together as one family to provide a better service to customers. Its brand identity reflects its one family status and will help ensure it is recognisable as a united organisation for customers, colleagues and in the wider world. It doesn’t just build houses, it creates sustainable communities for everyone through a business head and social heart. Ultimately, people are at the heart of everything it does. It is always striving to open doors and provide chances. Whether it’s for those in its communities or the staff that service them, Circle Housing helps people fulfil their potential and live better, more independent lives.

The Team

Scott Brownrigg, Pick Everard, Parsons Brinkerhoff, ISG

The Challenge

During a phase of development, Circle Housing had initiated a business process improvement strategy, to drive operational benefit from improvement to its workplace accommodation, as well as the adoption of agile working. The office improvement scheme aimed to develop robust yet attractive, collaborative and future-proofed London HQ with 15,000 sq ft workspaces at Pancras Square. The Pancras Square and King’s Cross regeneration has provided Circle Housing with some of the best value central London spaces at the centre of an exciting transformation of an area which will connect the organisation to its business and social aspirations. The agile working strategy aimed to change working practices across the organisation to utilise the workplace and associated technologies to work more flexibly and effectively and deliver a better service to clients.

The project timescale was fast-track and so to help deliver on the objectives of the project, Circle Housing needed to engage a professional team that could ensure the organisation would get the very best use of new technology – allowing the business to achieve operational ROI against an agreed budget. Cordless Consultants (Cordless) was appointed to provide IT, AV and Video Conferencing Consultancy for the project, providing project management guidance to facilitate the inclusion of these technical workstreams into the budget and programme.

Lee Nessling, Facilities Project Manager at Circle Housing said:

“At Pancras Square, we wanted to create an innovative, agile and flexible environment that would give employees and visitors a great user experience with a ‘home-from-home’ feeling. In addition, we were looking for something that was futureproof as the organisation continues to develop – and the technology obviously has a key part to play in this.”

The Solution

Working in line with the time, budget and business improvement objectives, Cordless used its knowledge of future technologies to help the client refine its requirements to utilise new technical solutions and integrate these into robust design, carrying this through the procurement and delivery coordination phases to ensure Circle Housing’s AV and IT objectives could be fully achieved. Cordless’ project management, technical design and delivery processes then helped ensure a coordinated technology rollout, aligned against the client’s aspirations.

Cordless worked across multiple disciplines, alongside the client’s internal team and the external professional team members, co-ordinating the interface of technical workstreams into the construction programme – including:

  • Desktop devices
  • Copying, scanning and printing
  • Pervasive wireless
  • Audio Visual, meeting room technology and digital signage
  • Passive networking, structured cabling and cable management
  • On site comms room
  • WAN
  • Cloud-based hosting

Bespoke zones included a break-out space known as The Garden; a kitchen area with breakfast bar known as Home; and a snug reading room with comfortable seating called The Library.

The second phase of the project will involve the renovation of Circle Housing’s existing HQ at Corsica Street in Islington. This site will then become a functional hub and Pancras Square will become the HQ.

Lee Nessling, Facilities Project Manager at Circle Housing, said:

“With the help of Cordless Consultants, we have some sophisticated technology in place at Pancras Square and are now looking forward to the next phase of the project at Corsica Street. We are looking to create a sustainable workplace and consistent user experience across all of our estates, futureproofing the organisation from all angles.”

The Results

Circle Housing has been able to achieve an inspirational, new collaborative working environment that employees and visitors to the Circle Housing workplace can benefit from. The state of the art London HQ premises include flexible working spaces which allow full hot-desking functionality. There is a range of meeting spaces of differing technical specifications – including spaces divisible with sky fold partition technology. The AV technology ranges from wall panels to smart board and video conferencing. The physical IT infrastructure adheres to the latest standards to help ensure the network is future-proof. Onsite cabling has been minimised and the use of pervasive wireless combined with universal docking stations and mobile handheld technology fosters engagement and communication in the workplace.

The project is also a finalist in the 2016 regional BCO awards, which celebrate the best interior fit out projects across London and the south east. The BCO awards define excellence in office space and provide public recognition for top quality design and functionality and a benchmark for excellence in workplaces; acknowledging innovation and focusing attention on examples of best practice.

Lee Nessling, Facilities Project Manager at Circle Housing, said:

“The Cordless approach to managing the workplace technology procurement and project management implementation has been very thorough. With the Corsica Street refurbishment coming on line next, a key focus for us will be the technology change management, to fully embed the use of the new technologies into the culture of the organisation and optimise the user experience.”