Besides location, seamless digital connectivity is one of the biggest factors that can help determine a building’s investment value as it helps drive higher renter, longer leases, and lower vacancy rates. And for office workers, reliable and seamless connectivity in the office is paramount for their productivity and well-being. To help attract and retain tenants and differentiate their building in a highly competitive market, building owners, developers, and landlords — especially those with Class B or C buildings — should consider implementing a more robust, resilient digital infrastructure through a global standard for technology in buildings: WiredScore Certification.
As we’re seeing increasing from workers coming back to the office, and based on extensive survey results, reliable and seamless connectivity in the office is critical:
- 70% of internet issues are related to infrastructure
- 83% of tenants say connectivity is the most important factor for a workplace
- $300,000 cost of internet downtime per hour, according to Gartner
Since the height of the pandemic, and with more workers returning to the office in bigger numbers, connectivity and technology is intrinsic to return to office (RTO) initiatives. At the same time, companies are also adjusting their real estate portfolio strategies. These considerations for technology are critical in the decision-making process for owners and tenants alike. This shift by forward-thinking landlords to taking a more top-down approach to digital connectivity in their portfolios is backed up by the data — according to a recent report published by Moody's in December 2022, office buildings in the USA with WiredScore Certification have:
- 3.8% lower vacancy rates compared to similar profile non-certified buildings
- 9 months longer leases on average for tenants compared to similar profile non-certified buildings
- 2.2% greater rental growth in Class A assets compared to similar profile non-certified buildings over the past two years
What is WiredScore?
WiredScore assesses and certifies digital connectivity and smart technologies to help improve connectivity and user experiences in buildings globally. Similar to LEED for green buildings, WiredScore provides a standardized framework to assess capacity for technology and user experiences. WiredScore is helping landlords and developers assess and improve their buildings’ digital infrastructure and assisting tenants in understanding the connectivity and technology resiliency when searching or comparing prospective leases. Once landlords have the understanding of what is in their building, WiredScore then translates that information into a simple language that brokers can use to explain the technology capabilities of the building and how it is futureproofed to prospective tenants.
WiredScore started in 2013 in NYC as an initiative of Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s, with the goal of improving the city’s technology infrastructure. Launched in the U.K. in 2015, the digital connectivity certification is now international, partnering with over 1,000 of the biggest owners globally to certify more than 900 million square feet of office space in over 40 countries.
WiredScore oversees and provides two certifications for both existing buildings and developments:
- WiredScore – centered around the digital connectivity of offices and residential buildings globally, and;
- SmartScore – focused on the user experiences of smart buildings for the people who occupy, manage, own, and operate the spaces. Assessments are centered around user functionality and the technological foundations supporting user stories.
WiredScore and LEED synergies
LEED and SmartScore work together to help landlords and developers improve performance and increase asset value. While LEED is more established and focused on healthy, efficient, and cost-saving green buildings, WiredScore is intentionally designed to complement and expand on LEED for technological and future-proofing frameworks. They share approximately 10% of core criteria at the intent level. The remaining 90% of criteria are complementary.
Similar to LEED, varying levels of WiredScore and SmartScore certifications are available based on assessment criteria and guidelines, with Platinum being the highest level of certification, through to Gold, Silver, and Certified levels. Using an established and consistent criteria and assessment methodology, certifications are provided based on a range of assessable criteria. SmartScore and LEED certification provide scorecard crosswalks allowing those landlords pursuing both vertifications to gain greater benefits.
What do WiredScore and SmartScore mean for building owners?
For owners, developers, and landlords, a WiredScore and/or SmartScore certified building helps to differentiate a property from the marketplace and can remove any barriers or unknowns for prospective tenants with an internationally recognized and adopted technology assessment criteria. It also positions both the asset and owner as forward-looking, future-thinking property and organization, providing spaces designed to meet today’s requirements and expectations.
As potential tenants may be considering options, a certification may help in removing unknowns in their search as related to technology affordances, increasing rental value, future-proofing of assets, and driving investment values.
For the tenant or prospective tenant, a WiredScore certification gives the confidence that offices have a resilient digital infrastructure in place to meet the demands and expectations for modern-day and future workplaces. It provides assurance that there is suitable capacity to fit your digital needs today and into the future, provides resilience towards digital infrastructure and connectivity, and can confirm and validate access to multiple communications service providers.
How we can help
Gensler is WiredScore Accredited for office developments and SmartScore Accredited for smart technology in new and existing office buildings. We offer consulting and advisory services and certifications services to help clients navigate requirements and certify their buildings. Contact us to begin a conversation about how our services can support you now and into the future.
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