The making of an award-winning smart and sustainable building

Munich, 10/28/2021

With delivery of the final product still a few months away at the time of writing, the prize for ‘best sustainable renovation’ handed to Allianz Real Estate in August 2021 for the project to extensively upgrade its Corner building in Lyon is recognition for the ambitious new standards we all – users, tenants, investors – should expect from office buildings. Here we showcase some of the new features Corner Lyon’s users will experience once the reimagined asset comes online in early 2022.

The Corner Lyon brief

The Corner Lyon office property was built in 2001 in the much sought-after Lyon Part-Dieu district and acquired by Allianz in 2019 with the plan to renovate and extend the asset – an ambition which was timed to coincide with the first wave of the rollout of Allianz Real Estate’s asset digitalization program. The project will guarantee the asset’s long-term attractiveness and improve its environmental performance, while the deployment of the latest in ESG and asset digitalization techniques will ensure a healthy, high-quality user experience. On completion, Allianz will take approximately one third of the building as its Lyon HQ.


The enlarged Corner Lyon asset – lettable area will be increased from 14,000 sqm to more than 18,000 sqm – will feature a range of visible cues for an improved user experience. Modular, flexible office spaces and new service areas including the revamped lobby, business center, wellness area, food court and ground floor retail and other amenities make up the physical offering. However, it’s the intangible aspects related to the smart and sustainability package that is being deployed within Corner Lyon that will add that extra layer of comfort and well-being to users and which won over the judges at the Smart Buildings Alliance for Smart Cities (SBA).  

The central component to the smart upgrade is Corner Lyon’s new building operating system (BOS), the hub through which all data from the array of sensors installed in the property will flow. The BOS is the single source of truth, compiling the real-time data on which asset management decisions relating to the operational performance of the building will be made.

This will include the continuous monitoring and improvement of the quality of the internal environment and the energy consumption of the asset.

All this information can be accessed by tenants via simplified dashboards; portions of the BOS data will also be made available to third-party service providers for the development of additional applications and digital services which serve to enhance the user experience. This full offering will also be presented to users via an app so that the building itself becomes a member of the team, part of the professional and social network, a tool through which to communicate with the workplace.

Working alongside and connected to the BOS data will be a ‘digital twin’ of Corner Lyon. This virtual replica of the building will be hugely advantageous to the technical asset managers in terms of predictive maintenance and more efficient risk management. From a user perspective, this means the uninterrupted availability of all the building’s services.

The crucial characteristic to all the systems and sensors within the building’s smart infrastructure is their ability to be ‘interoperable’, i.e. they offer a seamless connection to the BOS. Similarly, the digital architecture in place within Corner Lyon allows third-party services to be dissociated from the local environment, i.e. they can be deployed, extended or removed independently of each other while only having access to BOS data for which they have rights assigned. This last point will be key to achieving the 2-star Ready2Services certification – a label awarded to the best smart buildings that incorporate the most-advanced connectivity techniques.

The immense benefit to the user of the digitalization of Corner Lyon will, at the same time, be replicated in the ESG performance of the asset. Allianz Real Estate’s ambition to manage a carbon net zero portfolio by 2050 begins with decarbonizing existing assets, hence the decision to renovate instead of demolishing and rebuilding. The technologies being deployed in the asset will take over the running of the building, with artificial intelligence and machine learning able to exploit the produced data and control the technical equipment within the asset to ensure consistently optimized performance. This will result in energy savings and therefore a reduced carbon footprint. The target is for the building to be certified as ‘Very Good’ according to the BREEAM sustainability assessment method – one of the world’s most recognized sustainability certifications for real estate.

To deliver the Corner Lyon promise, Allianz Real Estate has supplemented its in-house expertise with leading lights in smart engineering, smart services and data asset management. Deerns provided smart building consulting expertise; Urban Practices consulted on Ready2Services; Square Sense has developed the data asset management tools; PRD was the project developer; and Angeris provided project management support.

Grigor Hadjiev, Allianz Real Estate’s Head of Product & Development for West Europe, commented: “Corner Lyon will become a showcase for our asset digitalization strategy and smart building capabilities. Together with some truly excellent partners we will deliver an asset which meets the needs of the post-pandemic office user, which will mean talent retention for our tenants. At the same time, it will meet the decarbonization targets we have set for ourselves as one of the world’s largest real estate investment managers. We are very honored that our vision for Corner Lyon was recognized by the SBA.”

Tagged with:

ESG Mixed Use Europe

Press Contact:

Phillip Lee
Phillip Lee
Senior Marketing & Communications Manager

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