Buildings + Spaces

Optimising buildings and spaces for the people that use them

We have an extensive track record of providing design and operation advice for new and existing buildings such as, 22 Bishopsgate and Canary Wharf, and spaces around the world. Our diverse and experienced team of consultants, modellers and analysts are not tied to a single approach or modelling/simulation technique. We are trusted to recommend the most cost-effective and robust method of analysis for assessing questions regarding people movement, safety and comfort.


Our work is concerned with spaces which are used by a diverse range of people and accommodate a wide set of purposes, such as work, leisure, education, and exploration. We combine scientific quantitative methods with our understanding of people movement in different settings to inform design, planning, and operations. The aim is to create buildings and spaces that are more efficient and safer whilst being enjoyable.

People movement planning can be used to ensure comfortable flow and assembly inside and outside of a venue or building, during day-to-day use or in extreme scenarios. We consider all aspects of operations from security and vertical circulation, wayfinding and legibility through to toilet capacities and service rates at different facilities to inform design and resource decisions.

Our services span the life cycle of buildings and spaces from construction, design to day-to-day operation including:

  • Understanding how people currently or will use buildings and spaces, their behaviours and their needs through data review, collection and analysis
  • Quantitative and qualitative review of constraints and capacities of critical points in the design of new and existing buildings and spaces, identifying opportunities for optimising space, pedestrian flow and people movement
  • Detailed design advice and capacity assessments to determine space requirements, including access, egress,circulation, dwelling and queueing to ensure desired levels of comfort are met (Fruin Level of Service) and recommending efficiencies to optimise space
  • Assessing demand scenarios for normal operation, major events, emergency and evacuation using desktop analysisand simulation modelling to inform design and management plans
  • Reviewing capacities for horizontal and vertical circulation provision including lift systems, staircase and escalators
  • Dynamic evacuation models to assess the safe, timely evacuation of building and spaces including density flows, location, size and duration of queues using our in-house pedestrian modelling software, SENSE™
  • Design advice and evacuation strategies to ensure signage, information and messaging achieve clearance in the safest and quickest manner
  • Micro-simulation modelling of individual users through designed space in peak scenarios, using LEGION or Pathfinder (3D), to better inform design, planning and risk mitigation measures
  • 2D visibility and connectivity analyses to assess sight lines and improve legibility, wayfinding and positioning of key ‘interactions’ e.g. reception/welcome, lifts and security gates.

Related case studies

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