Smart Building System

Peer to Peer Learning Program 2024

Who we are

  •  Co-working space, creative hub, social enterprise
  • Operating 5 years, in a small ex-mining town in a deprived area in the North of England but close to major cities like Manchseter.

What are our goals

  • Nurture startups and entrepreneurs
  • Raise aspirations, increase skill levels in our local community
  • Create opportunities, innovation and investment in our town

What we can offer

  • Software devs, digital creatives and engineers
  • Collaboration, innovation, skill and knowledge sharing
  • A warm welcome to a small, ex-mining town in the north of England :)

What we suggest


Energy Monitoring

  • The first step to finding ways to reduce energy usage is to monitor existing usage.
  • This is vital to be able to calculate requirements for solar generation and battery storage
  • However, being more aware of your energy usage can change habits and highlight easy wins.
  • At Leigh Works, we saved 30% of our energy usage, just by changing habits and creating processes. E.g. At the end of the working day, several circuits were turned off at the main breakers.
  • As we can monitor each circuit individually a fair usage policy can be created, offering financial incentive for users of the space to use less electricity.
  • Events in Kasino can be monitored providing energy costs for different types of event allowing pricing to be adjusted accordingly, or energy costs to be charged directly per event.
  • Integrating lighting into BMS, presence detection, building access and booking systems can offer further optimization.

Heating Integration

  • As with electricity and lighting, heating can be optimised by integrating into BMS and booking system.
  • Currently the system is reprogrammed, by hand based on bookings and usage.
  • The heating system could be integrated into the booking and business management software to automatically turn zones on and off based on planned usage. This will also ensure heating is turned off in zones after use.
  • Odoo does support automation that could be used to do this however we would need to find a way to hook into the heating system controls. This could be with the addition of software to allow the temperature set points to be changed via the Odoo automation, but further investigation is needed.



  • We have looked into the available roof space on the main building at Basis.
  • There is approximately 1000m2 usable space on the solar panels: Allowing for between a 100kw to 150kw solar energy system.
  • A rough estimate for the system cost would be around €60,000 - €85,000 with a buyback period of 5-7.5 years
  • With a system lasting 25 years, the energy and carbon savings over the system lifetime would be huge.
  • Depending on the time of peak energy demand, you could see around a 10x reduction in energy usage from the grid which could result in around 10x lower energy cost. But this needs to be calculated with the energy monitoring Ste previously mentioned.
  • If the studio building is available to use for solar panels, the energy production would increase much more as it is south facing.

Battery Storage

  • If the studio building had a small battery solution, it would likely be completely energy independent.
  • Once the battery is full, any excess energy can be “exported” to the main Basis building.
  • Energy storage on the main building is an option for the future but we don’t yet have usage data for Basis so it’s not easy to suggest energy storage solutions.
  • Once we have more data on energy usage in the future, we can assess the effectiveness of an energy storage system.
  • Once the energy monitoring system is installed, it would be possible to work out an estimation of the previous energy usage based on what type of event was held. Basis already records the usage of the event space and accommodation space in odoo.
  • Energy Storage could also be achieved with water. Heating water with the excess electricity generated during the day will use some of the excess generated electricity and allow that energy to be used for heating or hot water throughout the day and night.
  • There is currently corrective work required to install a solar energy system.
  • Currently BASIS is supplied by two electricity supplies. These would need to be combined into a single supply and meter, otherwise electricity generated by the solar panels would be exported and reimported in some parts of the site. This means you would be charged full price for electricity you’ve generated.


  • ERP / Business Management


  • Access Control - Two methodologies we can approach, though in either scenario they would need to update to Salto KS
  • Rely on RFID Cards, integrate provisioning of cards into Odoo using Salto KS
  • When a new member joins, they can be tagged with the package they have, this would relate to the doors they have access to.
  • We then take the Order information in Odoo and pre-populate Salto KS with the relevant information, ready for a RFID Card to be assigned.
  • RFID cards can be assigned based on the real-time events API provided by Salto KS e.g. A new user comes to Basis.
  • The person responsible for on-boarding new customers selects the user on the system. Then taps the blank card on a known reader.
  • This automatically links that card to that customer, no need to log in to Salto.
  • An app approach where we unlock doors remotely (via the local network to Home Assistant) based on the nearest door to the user.
  • This approach would be a passive experience for the user, for example, they would approach the door, and it automatically unlocks (if they have access).
  • Would need a means of tracking maybe using BLE but maybe the doors are beacons rather than the users?
  • Though user based beacons would allow us to track their location in the building.
  • This would also reduce the need to issue RFID Cards to people.
  • A mix of the above could be used too, for example, Flex and some Fixed Desk members can utilise the app only approach. While staff and more regular users that move around the building can stick with RFID Cards. Increasing the need for people using access control means better monitoring of space utilisation especially if they were to potentially adopt a monthly-recurring model (similar to Leigh Works for Flex)

What we’ve learnt to take home

  • Ideas for sound deadening - carpet tiles
  • Ideas for open-plan office space configuration - walls out of shelving
  • Ideas for furniture - Tables from windows, phone booth etc
  • Importance of multi-use events space
  • Communal meal/cooking, fundamental human needs to bring people back together
  • Odoo looks quite powerful