UAE to Welcome One of the World’s Smartest, AI-Powered Office Buildings Through Bee'ah -Microsoft – Johnson Controls Partnership
• Leading global technology leaders Microsoft, Johnson Controls and Evoteq selected as partners for Bea’ah’s office of the future
• Bee’ah’s new HQ considered the first AI integrated buildings in the MENA region and one of the smartest worldwide
• The groundbreaking first-of-its-kind project by Bee’ah is envisaged to bolster the UAE’s positioning as a global hub for ICT and operational innovation
• The office of the future is a realization of the UAE leadership’s aspirations to develop sustainable smart cities
• Al Huraimel: Environmental sustainability and digital technologies are mutually inclusive factors in driving an economy of the future and improving quality of life
UAE — April 23, 2019 — Bee’ah, the Middle East’s sustainability pioneer, has announced that its new Sharjah-based headquarters is set to become the first fully-integrated Artificial Intelligence (AI) office building in the UAE and MENA region and one of the smartest in the world, upon its opening in Q4/2019.
The announcement was made on Tuesday, 23rd April in Redmond, Washington, on the sidelines of an agreement between executives from Bee’ah, Microsoft Corp., Johnson Controls and Evoteq.
As part of the agreement, the new Bee’ah headquarters will be equipped with a sweeping array of artificial intelligence (AI) and smart building solutions powered by Microsoft, adding another milestone to Bee’ah’s digital transformation journey; which has grown in breadth and magnitude over the last few years, ever since the company diversified its vision to focus on both sustainability and technology as the pillars of the modern economy.
“Environmental sustainability and digital technologies are mutually inclusive pillars in driving an economy of the future and are deeply ingrained in everything we do at Bee’ah,” said HE Khaled Al Huraimel, Bee’ah’s Group CEO.
“By partnering with the world’s leading technology firms and sector shapers, our new headquarters will embody our vision for this future and exemplify the most sustainable solutions and advanced technologies, with no compromise on innovation or delivery.”
“Our new HQ will be the first building in the UAE and MENA region, and one of the first in the world, to have full integration with AI to support new seamless experiences for optimization of efficiencies, performance and functionality. Our office of the future will manifest our commitment to the continual advancement of our valued staff body, and AI solutions will provide new avenues of employee development and operational convenience. We look forward to the gradual rollout of AI-powered smart building solutions at other Bee’ah offices and locations across the UAE.”
H.E Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Executive Chairman of Sharjah’s Department of Government Relations and Chairman of the Higher Committee of Digital Transformation of Sharjah, who was part of the delegation in Seattle, stated, “Bee’ah’s introduction of the one of the world’s smartest and first fully-integrated AI buildings reflects the vision of H.H Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Federal Supreme Council, and Ruler of Sharjah, to position the emirate as a world-leading model city that pushes the boundaries of innovation, as part of its digital transformation platform and knowledge-based economy, which has witnessed several grass-root achievements in recent years. Moreover, it is a testament to the UAE’s overarching 2031 AI Strategy which paves the way for the next level of future services, sectors and infrastructure projects.”
Using its Digital Vault offering and extended capabilities built on Microsoft Azure, Johnson Controls will work with Microsoft to outfit the new building with intelligent edge systems, devices and software designed to optimize energy efficiency, make the best use of available space and help the building’s occupants be more productive through a virtual AI persona. Evoteq, Bee’ah’s digital venture, will serve as the technical project management partner for this unique project, deploying integrated solutions and enhanced digital capabilities for greater operational output.
From digital workspaces to smart back-office integration, and from smart lobby-visitor management to smart security, employees and visitors at Bee’ah’s new headquarters will experience a diverse range of cutting-edge AI features through multiple touchpoints across various functions including HR, customer care, procurement, administration, and multiple building management systems.
Designed by the renowned Zaha Hadid Architects, Bee’ah’s futuristic new headquarters will be fully-powered by renewable energy and optimized for the sustainable use of resources to have zero net energy consumption and achieve a LEED platinum certification — the highest recognition awarded to green buildings. Under the agreement, Johnson Controls will deploy a technical infrastructure for the building capable of monitoring its entire environment virtually with Microsoft Azure Digital Twins and IoT technologies. The solution will enable Bee’ah to analyze volumes of data to optimize building operations and drive efficiency.
As Bee’ah’s exclusive cloud provider, Microsoft will also optimize the experience of the building for people through technology and solutions powered by Microsoft Azure. Intelligent concierge capabilities will engage visitors and employees to help locate available meeting spaces, book appointments, give directions, hail rides and support day-to-day tasks. These AI-powered personal concierge services will be the first in the Middle East designed specifically for building occupants.
“Digital Vault and our building apps will give Bee’ah the power to make faster, intelligent data-driven decisions to run its headquarters more safely, efficiently and sustainably, and will increase productivity for the people working and visiting Bee’ah’s headquarters,” said Bill Jackson, vice president and president, Global Products, Building Technologies & Solutions, Johnson Controls. “In partnership with Microsoft, Johnson Controls is transforming traditional building systems with services that merge the physical and digital worlds. Through this project, we are showcasing how the cloud and AI can tap into data from physical spaces to drive better engagement with occupants and achieve new levels of efficiency and sustainability.”
Johnson Controls’ Digital Vault offering takes advantage of the capabilities of Azure Digital Twins, Azure IoT and Azure Container Registry to provide a complete virtual representation of data from connected devices and systems throughout the building. With this approach, Digital Vault translates the physical world inside the building into a digital representation of the building with rich data that can be visualized, analyzed and acted upon to deliver proactive maintenance, optimize building systems and deliver intelligent support for the people inside.
As part of its commitment to transferring knowledge and partnering with the world’s leading technology companies, Bee’ah selected Microsoft as its trusted digital advisor following a meticulous search because of the company’s deep industry expertise and commitment to empowering smart cities around the world. Microsoft collaborated with Bee’ah to design the new digital experiences and to build an executable strategy using cloud and AI that would not only deliver smart building systems, but also lead to the creation of spaces and services designed to delight its occupants. Bee’ah selected Johnson Controls based on the company’s skills and offerings across smart building systems and the underlying software platforms, as well as its commitment to and close relationship with Microsoft.
“Together with Johnson Controls and Bee’ah, we are driving the digitization of smarter, more sustainable buildings and spaces,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Cloud + AI Group, Microsoft. “Bee’ah’s iconic new headquarters will be among the first buildings globally to have end-to-end experiences designed and built on the Azure platform. Azure is the platform that can truly integrate across all the devices, systems and services required for such a large and diverse implementation. Microsoft has been able to reduce energy consumption by 20% on our own campus in Redmond by using machine learning on edge devices and in the cloud, and we can’t wait to see what Bee’ah is able to do by applying this approach to its ultramodern new headquarters in Sharjah.”