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Salesforce Tower gets digital twin in zero carbon push

Gerald Ronson’s Salesforce Tower is undergoing a post-Covid revamp that will see it replicated as a digital twin.

The tower at 110 Bishopsgate, EC2, previously known as the Heron Tower, celebrates its 10th anniversary next year, and Heron International wants to make sure it is able to keep up with new schemes coming online nearby. Fresh developments at 22 Bishopsgate, 100 Bishopsgate, and 70 St Mary Axe are all providing fresh competition for the iconic tower.

The firm has instructed HDR | Hurley Palmer Flatt to deliver an upgrade for the building and create a digital twin that will enable the 230m tower to become net zero carbon, will reduce running costs, and ensure its long-term competitiveness in the City of London.

Andy Burnie, asset manager for Heron International, told EG: “While we have been relatively fortunate in that we have maintained an almost fully-let building for a number of years, clearly there is new space coming onto the market, which we want to still able to compete successfully with. For now there’s been no reduction in the quality of our tenants or the terms we are able to achieve, but we want to make sure that the grade A space is continued.”

He said the tower had “plenty of life left in it,” which was why its investors were spending “a not inconsiderable” sum on ensuring its attractiveness to tenants going forward.

The digital twin will be able to simulate and trial ideas for a range of elements including the building’s control system, cooling and heating systems, and air filtration to control CO2 levels. It will also enable more accurate metering and costings for tenants.

Real estate firms across the world are increasingly utilising digital twins to manage and test their buildings. Australian developer Lendlease has been somewhat of a pioneer in this technology, and believes that digital twinning can cut building costs by as much as 10%.

The tower is also being upgraded physically to meet the needs of occupiers, with the number of showers being doubled and more bike storage added.

Heron is also exploring the possibility of dividing the 500,000 sq ft tower into smaller units as it assesses how people will occupy space post-Covid.

Original Article published on Estates Gazette (06/08/2020)