WiredScore drafting first global smart buildings certification | RENX


IMAGE: Andrew Freitas is the head of Canadian operations for WiredScore, which is working with an international council to create the first worldwide smart buildings certification. (Courtesy WiredScore)

Andrew Freitas is the head of Canadian operations for WiredScore, which is working with an international council to create the first worldwide smart buildings certification. (Courtesy WiredScore)

WiredScore has created an international Smart Council, with representatives from some of the largest commercial real estate owners/operators in Canada and the world, to create the first international certification standard for smart buildings.

The WiredScore Smart Council is collecting insights and defining what constitutes a smart building in order to launch the new certification.

“Just like technology, that’s going to evolve over time and bring new challenges and opportunities to our industry,” WiredScore Canadian head Andrew Freitas told RENX in an exclusive interview prior to the announcement. “But, ultimately, we want it to help create a global standard that the industry can wrap its arms around.”

WiredScore is the organization behind Wired Certification, the internationally recognized digital connectivity rating system for real estate that helps landlords design and promote buildings with powerful digital connectivity. It’s the only certification for rating the infrastructure, connectivity and technological capacity of commercial buildings.

WiredScore launched Wired Certification in 2013 and moved into Canada in 2017. Freitas became the first head of its Canadian operations less than a year ago.

The smart buildings certification

The WiredScore Smart Council was created over the past few months to provide clarity, leadership and guidance on what constitutes a smart building and create a standard that can be used for benchmarking purposes.

“This is separate from our core product, our connectivity certification, but we’re really looking to build on the success of that,” said Freitas. “How we grow and evolve is driven by what our clients have been asking us to do. This was no different.”

The smart building certification will be developed by exploring factors related to building operational efficiency, optimization and obsolescence, and ultimately a building’s ability to deliver an inspirational user experience.

WiredScore works with more than 600 clients in nine countries, representing more than 550 million square feet of space in 2,000 buildings, helping owners and property managers benchmark and improve connectivity.

WiredScore Smart Council membership

The goal is for the WiredScore Smart Council to have global breadth and a diversity of thought leadership in portfolio management, building operations and innovation from all of the key markets in which WiredScore operates.

The WiredScore Smart Council is comprised of companies including Allianz Real Estate, Allied Properties REIT, Art-Invest Real Estate, AXA Investment Managers, British Land, Commerz Real, Deliveroo, Derwent London, EDGE, Fifth Wall, Gecina, Great Portland Estates, Hines, KingSett Capital, KPMG, Legal & General, Nuveen Real Estate, Patrizia, PGIM Real Estate, Rudin Management Company and U+I.

“Our expertise has allowed us to form some pretty great, strong and deep relationships that allows us to be trusted advisors to these companies,” said Freitas. “We brought together owners, developers and tenants to form the council.”

WiredScore Smart Council members take part in individual sessions and group discussions that look at smart building drivers, data protocols, cyber security standards and other factors on a near-monthly basis.

The WiredScore Smart Council was created during the COVID-19 crisis, but the pandemic has not added any complications since everything has been done virtually. So far, members have largely been working remotely.

WiredScore in Canada

Allied and KingSett are the Canadian representatives on the WiredScore Smart Council.

“The notion of establishing a benchmark for smart buildings has been a discussion point for a long time and it’s fantastic to see WiredScore take the lead in forming this council of owners and users from across the world,” Allied technology vice-president Travis Vokey said in a media release.

“We’ve been looking for a framework to understand how our buildings are performing today and what we need to do in order to future-proof them — not just in their digital capabilities, but also their smartness — and being a member of the WiredScore Smart Council will help us do this.”

WiredScore’s other Canadian clients include such prominent commercial real estate owners as Ivanhoé Cambridge, GWL Realty Advisors, Dream Office REIT, Cadillac Fairview, Northwest Healthcare Properties, QuadReal Property Group and Slate Asset Management.

WiredScore has grown from having about 44 million square feet committed to Wired Certification in Canada when Freitas took over to more than 66 million square feet today.

The primary Canadian markets are Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Halifax.

The KingSett and CCI Corpfin Capital-owned 330 Portage Avenue recently became the first office building in Winnipeg to receive a Wired Certification.

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