Canary Wharf to pilot data-driven building efficiency projects

An open-source Building Information Modelling (BIM) platform and a 'Connected Home' app could be rolled out in London thanks to new funding through a smart-city technology competition.

The Canary Wharf Group has announced the winners of the third wave of its Cognicity Challenge – a funding competition that fast-tracks the development and deployment of smart city technologies. 

The winning companies receive a £50,000 cash prize and will be able to conduct pilot phases of their projects on the Canary Wharf business estate in London. So far, the scheme has supported solar-powered benches that charge your phone, and a micro energy-from-waste plant, among other things.


In this latest round of the competition, London-based start-up 3D Repo won the ‘Virtual Design and Construction’ category with its open-source BIM platform, which enables better collaboration on construction projects.

Meanwhile, the ‘Connected Home’ award was split between BlockDox and Puckily, who will share the cash prize and collabaorate on a pilot project. Puckily’s innovation allows a range of devices around the home to be connected and controlled remotely, while BlockDox has developed an app which enables residents to perform everyday tasks, such as organising repair work and contacting management, more quickly and easily.

By combining their technologies, the two companies claim they can vastly improve people’s ability to manage their homes through connected devices.

Developing data

The Cognicity Challenge was set up to identify and pilot smart-city technology on the Canary Wharf estate. Ian Jones, the smart cities director at Intel UK – a Cognicity Challenge partner – said: “Data will play a central role in the cities of tomorrow, driving the innovations that these firms are developing.

“Teaming with the Cognicity Challenge means we can coach these entrepreneurs on the role of data, how they can protect it, and distil valuable insight from it, to create amazing impacts for the residents of smarter cities.”

Canary Wharf Group chairman Sir George Iacobescu added: “Collaborating with 36 startups has provided the opportunity to appraise our own processes and understanding of innovation in the smart cities arena, at the same time as helping shape their thinking and products. We are looking forward to the piloting phase and its outcomes.”

Canary Wharf Group is also the developer of London’s ‘Walkie Talkie’ skyscraper, which this week achieved BREEAM Excellent rating, making it one of the most sustainable buildings in the city.

Brad Allen

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