A smart building accredition framework?

28 October 2023

Back in 2021 John Gleeson and Jonathan Treece (now at Barclays) from Arcadis presented their How Smart is Smart: a point in time session at the Smart Buildings Show that looked at how the increasing number of physical and digital accreditation schemes for buildings were overwhelming investors with a logo war. That’s still arguably the case, but it was interesting to see how they bucketed those rating schemes into 3 categories:

  • Sustainability
  • Wellness
  • Technology

Employed Experience may increasingly become another, and I can think of 2 different variables for looking at these ratings:

  • Static: these ratings appear to measure the physical or technical aspects of a building as a static thing, rather than one that is lived/worked in/operated.
  • Dynamic: this variable could on one hand be about a building’s performance (e.g. NABERS) or tenant/occupier experience and also include benchmarking of others buildings/offices.

Interestingly, John and Jon point out that WiredScore‘s SmartScore and Smart Building Certification (now Smart Building Collective) as the two most focused on commercial real estate. I have highlighted the Smart Score framework above (version Version 1.2), which appears to be the market leader. However, it’s not without its critics. For some, it is the tick box nature of the framework and that making it easy to game to achieve higher ratings. For others, it is the lack of evaluation of the buildings actual performance and tenant/occupier experience, and that being linked to concerns about the thin slice nature of what gets evaluated and why – particularly given the increasing number of stakeholders now involved. Their point being that smart buildings continue to evolve and that is involving an increasing number of stakeholders making it hard to create a one size fits all evaluation.

Anyway, I mention these frameworks as they could feed into how the smart building technology gets sliced and diced, and the doing of that will need to factor in how that the slicing and dicing evolves (iteratively?) due to changing tenant/occupier needs (among other stakeholders) and onward march of technology.

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