Colliers Capital Markets recently spoke with WiredScore’s North America Country Director, Katie Klein, to discuss how technology infrastructure can benefit both occupiers and landlords. WiredScore defines and certifies digital connectivity and smart technology in homes and offices on a global scale, ensuring that buildings provide a best-in-class infrastructure that businesses and individuals require to thrive.
Colliers Capital Markets (CCM): As landlords try to differentiate themselves today, how important is technology?
Katie Klein (KK): A tumultuous last few years have resulted in fiercer competition across the rental market. As commercial vacancy rates rise and occupiers battle with employees wanting to work from home, there has never been a more crucial moment for landlords to invest in making the office a space people truly want to be in. Improvements include smart functionalities such as seamless access control, bookable desks and amenities, and even environmental control of light, temperature, and ventilation. Comprehensive implementation of technology can foster an easy transition between the office and remote workers while supporting occupiers’ ESG+R goals, and will help landlords’ assets avoid obsolescence.
“As commercial vacancy rates rise and occupiers battle with employees wanting to work from home, there has never been a more crucial moment for landlords to invest in making the office a space people truly want to be in.”
CCM: What can owners do to improve their technology infrastructure?
KK: Because of ever-increasing data and information about our buildings, landlords and developers must work together and with occupiers to adopt technologies that fundamentally influence real change to help create better outcomes for the occupiers.
WiredScore engineers survey buildings to produce a detailed report and an overall rating, suggesting improvements to digital infrastructures and/or smart technology capabilities, based on four outcomes that occupiers focus on:
- Future-readiness: How adaptable is a building to new technology? For example, during the global shift in mobile connectivity as 5G replaces 3G, employees in 3G buildings may be unable to make/receive phone calls in certain areas.
- Resiliency: WiredScore assesses whether a building has adequate backup technology, like a second cable on a different side of the building or even an antenna to reduce the risk of possible internet outages. These certified buildings’ systems can protect data and save work during outages.
- Occupier set-up: There can be huge differences between a building that allows plug-and-play and one that needs months of setup to et online.
- Digital experience: Providing the technological capabilities required for employees to move around the building freely, such as starting calls from the street and finishing them in their office — all without interrupted connections.
“WiredScore engineers survey buildings based on four outcomes that occupiers focus on: future-readiness, resiliency, occupier set-up, and digital experience.”
CCM: What do you see as the next frontier in building technology and connectivity?
KK: A clear movement towards smart technology in the built environment is upon us. In an office, basic standards for smart technology will include installing tech in all spaces to ensure equal internet and cellular service access no matter the location. And creating seamless and comparable communication between home and office will emerge as paramount. Water Street Tampa, for example, is the first SmartScore pre-certified neighborhood in the world, bridging the gap between commercial and residential WiredScore certifications. To adapt to and exceed the expectations that draw workers back to the office, we can expect more smart infrastructure supporting this way of working on a neighborhood scale.