Office Bldg Smart Certifications

Office Bldg Smart Certifications Could Give Upper Hand

SINGAPORE – Experts shared that digital and smart certifications of commercial properties, including office buildings, could provide a competitive edge by enhancing marketability of such assets, reported The Business Times on Friday evening (17 June, SGT).

They said that as awareness of such accreditations increases, occupants like multinational corporations (MNCs) as well as financial institutions and tech firms, in particular, could look for such certifications for validation as they lease office space.

Cushman & Wakefield’s (C&W) Head of regional tenant representation Mark Lampard said that while smart certifications of commercial properties are still nascent here, it could gain traction with certain tenants, amidst the tech-fueled economy and rising number of opportunities in the Internet-of-Things (IOT) scene.

“Digital connectivity is especially important for some tenants in the tech and finance industries, where connectivity speed is crucial for their mission critical operations. A digital certification would also assure new-to-market tenants who have an experience of volatile digital connectivity in their home countries,” he noted.

David McKellar, Co-head of office services and occupier at CBRE, thinks that while location and quality would remain as the top consideration for renting office space, smart ratings can set apart a particular office building from others in the same vicinity and this can improve a commercial property’s marketability.

“We expect to see certifications and assessments that measure technology in buildings – such as electrical systems, lighting, air quality and sustainability – to be on the radar of more occupiers as they evaluate office options in Singapore. These measures can impact user experience and productivity.”

Moreover, McKellar said that smart office towers could have a competitive edge as they could retain tenants longer, thus reducing rental vacancies for landlords.

In Singapore, Shaw Tower, Keppel Bay Tower, as well PAG’s StarHub Green building are among the first to undergo WiredScore and SmartScore certifications. WiredScore is a digital connectivity certification system, while SmartScore is a smart building rating. Notably, US-based company WiredScore, which offers both certifications, unveiled its Asia headquarters in Singapore in March as part of regional expansion.

Certifications like WiredScore can help landlords in areas such as asset management, branding and leasing, in addition to future-proofing their commercial properties, added Thomasin Crowley, Global Director (Asia Pacific) at WiredScore.

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