Smart Building Ratings Program Launches
Billed as the world’s first comprehensive and objective assessment and rating program for smart buildings, the SPIRE Smart Buildings Program has recently made its debut.
The program was built by the Telecommunications Industry Association and UL and is the result of immense collaboration through a working group that is composed of 60+ leading and iconic brands across the industry.
“SPIRE provides an assessment of connected technologies within buildings, delivering insights, benchmarks, and roadmaps to help lower costs, mitigate risks, create brand differentiation, and enhance overall asset value,” stated the release.
The program consists of two key components: the online SPIRE Self-Assessment and a UL Verified Assessment and Rating. The SPIRE Self-Assessment is the first step for assessing insights into six distinctive criteria that describe the current state of the smart building based on its intelligence, based on an expertly curated, objective framework.
Previously, measuring smart building performance and value was a fragmented experience. SPIRE is a comprehensive solution to gain holistic insights during any stage of a building owner or operator’s business objectives.
In using six key elements that define the full scope of smart building performance, the program outlines a new gold-standard assessment criterion aimed at improving building performance and occupant experience.
According to SPIRE, by assessing, validating and rating within this industry-first holistic framework, building owners and operators can optimize asset performance, make better informed investment decisions and improve tenant relations.
The key elements of the assessment include:
Once a user has taken the self-assessment, they’ll gain access to valuable building performance insights, including an easy-to-read dashboard displaying the ratings of the structure’s six essential smart building categories.
SPIRE adds that the program offers both short- and long-term benefits for industries including commercial, institutional, industrial, retail and hospitality, medical and public venues, among others.
While the SPIRE UL Verified Assessment and Rating isn’t available until the first quarter of 2021, it entails an in-depth audit by UL and creates an objective, evidence-based assessment using the six distinctive criteria. A successful assessment results in a UL Verified Mark, a plaque, and a building performance score.
LEED Building Program
Aimed at achieving similar goals in sustainability, the U.S. Green Building Council recently launched the newest version of its LEED building program in 2019. The LEED v4.1 certification recognizes leadership by emphasizing not only integrated design, social equity and human health factors, it also looks at performance monitoring.
According to the Council, the updated rating system is designed to make the decision to implement LEED easier for residential projects. Now, LEED credits that have a higher value to home owners and residents are prioritized, such as health and well-being improved comfort, energy and water savings, green and healthy materials. Options have also been added to existing LEED credits that lower both hard and soft costs to achieve certification.
In November of that year, the USGBC announced that more than 100,000 LEED-certified commercial projects have now been registered, a milestone for the program.
By January, the USGBC released its annual Top 10 States for LEED, recognizing the nation’s leaders committed to more sustainable and resilient buildings, cities and communities. The Top 10 list is based on 2010 U.S. Census data combined with commercial and institutional green building projects certified through 2019 and ranks the states based on the number of LEED certified square feet per person.
And earlier this month, it was reported that more than 130 LEED projects have engaged its Safety First pilot credits in support of “healthy reopening plans in response to the pandemic.” The projects pursuing the credits represent 20 different countries and territories.