On the corner of Charterhouse Street and Farringdon Road, The 205,000sqft JJ Mack Building, by Ashby Capital and Helical, stands at the gateway to Smithfield. I visited with some colleagues and was fortunate enough to be shown around by Tom Smithers, Property Director Ashby Capital and Dan Drogman, CEO Smart Spaces.
The branding is pretty bold, but I think it works well, suits the Farringdon area and includes a slight nod to the past. The whole area has a history of trade and market commerce and the name comes from a previous grocery store use.
Finishes certainly look industrial, but are super neat and well detailed. I admired the exposed services in the CAT A fit-out as much as the terrace view out to the city. The services were particularly tidy and hadn’t needed special metal wrapping to ducts, for example. Clever use of some acoustic panels here and there obscured the FCUs, work with the underside of the steel beams to give a sense of a ceiling level, and all whilst performing their core function.
JJ Mack isn’t just bold, it’s smart. Packed with intelligent building features, the aim is to improve the day-to-day wellbeing of occupiers and to empower the FM team to run a truly sustainable operation.
Dan sat us down and explained the building’s Digital Twin which includes an imported 3D Revit model where anything than can be monitored or controlled is asset tagged (think lights, FCUs, IAQ etc.). The twin is linked to the JJ Mack app, making it super accessible not just to building management, but also tenant and individual occupiers. There’s so much that can be controlled and tailored for users or management, and from just a few minutes with Dan it’s clear this building and the smart setup is leading the way.
Some of the features on the app include:
Access Control - use your phone for touch free access (bluetooth or NFC). Soon your pass will be able to be stored in your apple wallet, cool right?
Visitors - I experienced this first hand, seamlessly. Dan had booked me in and I received a QR code the night before. I breezed through the speedgates, and if I was visiting a tenanted floor, this action would have called the lift for me too.
Desk / Meeting Room Booking - if a tenant implements the smart install as part of their fit out, Dan told me how the app can identify desks or meeting rooms that are available and enable them to be booked at the touch of a button. He also explained some clever tech that can monitor and count people in the space, while not actually filming them (think breaching data protection, privacy etc.).
On Floor Controls - Systems on the floors can be controlled remotely via the app, including lighting, heating and (if installed) blinds. This can be controlled by floor, by zone or even by specific FCU, blind or light fitting to allow the ultimate in space personalisation and individual comfort.
Building Information - If the app is going to be used by tenants, it may as well include useful information. So the app contains things from an occupier directory to amenity and event information to a library of building guides. And of course users can report any building issues.
External Information - Why stop at the building. It links directly to external information sources, such as weather, travel and local entertainment, plus special offers from local operators.
Adding to the smart stuff and user experience, occupier wellbeing and satisfaction is also clearly important at JJ Mack. There is 9,172sqft of external space across 3 terraces, boasting fantastic London views - as proven by everyone having their back to me taking a photo!