Presented By: WiredScore
How WiredScore Helps Office Buildings Plan for Technological Innovation
Future Of Global Building Standards, brought to you by WiredScore
When Thor Equities began the design process for 800 Fulton Market, a mixed-use Chicago office tower marketed as “Chicago’s Smartest Building,” they included WiredScore in the process right from the start. WiredScore provides two certifications, WiredScore and SmartScore, that rate a building’s digital infrastructure and connectivity, and smart building capacities, respectively, and the company worked with Thor to help 800 Fulton achieve a SmartScore Platinum rating. Partner Insights spoke to Peter McEneaney, executive vice president at Thor Equities, about the process and the advantages of working with WiredScore.
Commercial Observer: Why did you decide to pursue a SmartScore rating?
Peter McEneaney: We were committed to developing a first-class project in terms of technology. SmartScore allowed us to prioritize future-proofing the building and differentiating it from others in the marketplace.
CO: How early in the building’s planning and construction process did they become active on the project, and what exactly did that entail?
PM: During design development, we partnered with WiredScore and sent them our plans. It was an innovative process with them looking at our design and determining what they could improve, and instructing us how we should set ourselves up for the certification. Throughout that process, we made some design tweaks based on this feedback. As a result, there are a number of things we adapted or improved based on some of our initial conversations. These included riser locations and flexibility, setting up telecom lines, and making sure tenants had redundancy on different floors.
CO: Regarding smart technology specifically, what were some of the more advanced features that tenants and their staff have to look forward to?
PM: We have a robust technology platform. We custom-built our own Building Automation System (BAS) for 800 Fulton Market called onPoint. We worked with Buildings IOT out of California to create that. It’s a dashboard on a single pane of glass that controls all systems in the building. Everything ties into that as a backbone. One aspect of it that’s quite unique is that we have a full set of indoor air quality sensors monitoring air quality in all of our spaces. And then another set of sensors provides us with data on room usage and how many people are in the conference rooms, or are using the amenity space. It all tracks real time through our unique onPoint platform, allowing us to optimize the building based on the data this platform provides.
CO: Did WiredScore’s recommendations affect any of those sensors being installed?
PM: We knew we were going to be placing technology at the heart of our strategy to deliver a truly smart building. WiredScore played a big part in viewing the building holistically and making sure that we achieved our specific technology goals. WiredScore’s recommendations played a role in the early stages of design, and then continued to affect the process through completion. There are many examples from this project – implementations ranging from maximizing a riser’s capacity and how to best ground our riser systems, to sizing a telecommunications room and planning and installing room climate control methods.
CO: How did the certification process work?
PM: In its simplest form, there was an initial pre-construction certification survey where they reviewed the drawings, and then a two-day construction inspection. WiredScore reviewed the design intent, and confirmed onsite that we accomplished all those things.
CO: Talk about how working with WiredScore — when it came time to market the building and start leasing — ultimately benefited those marketing and leasing efforts.
PM: The positive impact our certification had on leasing conversations and deal progress was notable. Just mentioning WiredScore and SmartScore in leasing negotiations puts us ahead of the pack. When tenants know we’ve designed our building for the future of work and have received world-class recognition, we’re starting our leasing talks in a place few can compete with.
Being able to relate the building’s technological capabilities back to a globally recognized standard also allows us to prove the value of the infrastructure we put in place. It allows us to provide transparency to future tenants on what they can expect from their experience in the building before they move in.
Working with WiredScore played a big part in the whole story of the building. It enabled us to demonstrate our technological superiority compared to other buildings in the neighborhood, plus that we prioritized future-proofing the building and that we were aiming to provide our tenants with a differentiated experience, enhanced by technology.
CO: What are some of the greatest long-term benefits you expect from having your WiredScore Platinum rating and everything you had to do to achieve it?
PM: The data we’re going to be able to collect from the technology features in the building, and what we could ultimately do with that data years from now, excites us. As we’ve referenced already, a lot of it has to do with air quality. The sensors we have allow us to develop use cases around how many people are using a specific portion of the building, and therefore subsequently adapt programming. There’s a whole host of different things we can do both from an energy-efficiency perspective and an activity and usage perspective.
CO: How are you continuing to work with WiredScore?
PM: We have another product in Chicago we’re looking at potentially working with them on. They’ve also worked with us on a life science product in Jersey City. Any of our future new developments or redevelopments will be a great opportunity to partner with them.
CO: What would you tell other developers about why they should work with WiredScore?
PM: The WiredScore team is great from day one in terms of setting expectations and meeting goals. It’s a thorough process that started early and continued from design through construction. One piece of advice is to start early. Get them involved in reviewing the design, to allow for a seamless certification process.
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