Rat­ings are down to the wire

A new scor­ing sys­tem for of­fice build­ings aims to make a virtue of good con­nec­tiv­ity. By Bob Ser­afini

The Herald - - COMMERCIAL PROPERTY -

NEW re­search re­leased this month by Wired­score, to mark its Scot­tish launch, shows that com­pa­nies in Scot­land con­tinue to be blighted by poor con­nec­tiv­ity.

When asked about the most im­por­tant cri­te­ria in choos­ing of­fice space, qual­ity of in­ter­net con­nec­tion and cov­er­age through mo­bile net­works was of great­est value to busi­ness lead­ers, higher even than price and lo­ca­tion.

Al­most half of 250 Scot­tish busi­nesses in­ter­viewed by Cen­suswide for the re­port claimed they ex­pe­ri­enced prob­lems with in­ter­net out­ages at least once a week.

To help Scot­tish land­lords and de­vel­op­ers gain a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the state of their dig­i­tal in­fras­truc­ture, in­ter­na­tional scheme Wired­score has launched its dig­i­tal rat­ing scheme for com­mer­cial prop­erty.

Four of­fice build­ings in

Glas­gow and Ed­in­burgh have al­ready com­pleted the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion process and a fur­ther dozen have signed up to be rated.

The prop­er­ties which al­ready have a badge, help­ing to re­as­sure oc­cu­piers and prob­a­bly adding value over time, are Queen’s House in St Vin­cent Place, and 180 West Ge­orge Street, Glas­gow, both owned by Pic­ton, Black­rock’s Cale­do­nian Ex­change in Can­ning Street, Ed­in­burgh and the pro­posed new 177 Both­well Street from HFD Group.

Other for­ward think­ing land­lords of Scot­tish of­fice space who have com­mit­ted to Wired cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in­clude Am­bas­sador Group, Ard­stone Cap­i­tal, Broadoak As­set Man­age­ment, FORE Part­ner­ship, Kennedy

Wil­son, Kier De­vel­op­ment,

M & G Real Es­tate, Par­a­bola, Rock­spring and Wire­fox.

Founded in New York in

2013 by lead­ers in real es­tate, tech­nol­ogy and tele­coms, and brought to the UK two years later, Wired­score seeks to bring trans­parency on con­nec­tiv­ity in the com­mer­cial prop­erty sec­tor by pro­vid­ing de­vel­op­ers and land­lords with an in­de­pen­dent trusted mark that helps demon­strate the cal­i­bre of a build­ing’s dig­i­tal in­fras­truc­ture to prospec­tive busi­ness oc­cu­piers.

Wil­liam New­ton, the com­pany’s Euro­pean MD, said: “We are see­ing a shift in Scot­tish in­dus­try, with the dig­i­tal sec­tor fore­cast to grow more than twice as fast as the over­all econ­omy in the years up to 2024.

“To sup­port these bur­geon­ing in­no­va­tive tech com­pa­nies and en­able all com­pa­nies to har­ness the power of dig­i­tal, busi­ness lead­ers need as­sur­ance their of­fice space has the ca­pac­ity to meet their tech­no­log­i­cal needs.

“There has been an over­whelm­ing re­sponse by land­lords and de­vel­op­ers who have part­nered with us for Wired­score’s launch in Scot­land.

“This demon­strates the un­der­stand­ing and in­vest­ment the real es­tate in­dus­try is mak­ing to en­sure com­pa­nies are work­ing in spa­ces that will al­low them to thrive.”

The com­pany was re­luc­tant to dis­close typ­i­cal costs of hav­ing your build­ing rated, ar­gu­ing that cri­te­ria such as build­ing size and lo­ca­tion af­fected the de­tail, but there is prob­a­bly lit­tle doubt that demon­strat­ing in­ter­net con­nec­tiv­ity to in­ter­na­tional stan­dards will in­crease value.

CBRE re­port more land­lords are reach­ing out for this cer­ti­fi­ca­tion to fu­ture proof build­ings and guar­an­tee best in class tech­nol­ogy for oc­cu­piers and Costar have shown how rental fig­ures have been im­proved in Man­hat­tan.

Of­fice build­ings can score sil­ver, gold or the high­est, plat­inum, rat­ing fol­low­ing an as­sess­ment of the fa­cil­i­ties.

NET GAIN: Queen’s House in St Vin­cent Place, above, and Black­rock’s Cale­do­nian Ex­change in Can­ning Street, Ed­in­burgh have both signed up for Wired­score’s new con­nec­tiv­ity rat­ing sys­tem.

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