SmartScore – a new certification for Smart Buildings

One of the current industry buzz phrases is ‘Smart Building’. So what is a Smart Building and what can it offer?

Many buildings already incorporate automatic systems which respond to occupancy, natural light, air quality etc. These systems usually monitor and report their status, but cross-system integration has been elusive over the years and systems still tend to be ‘stand-alone’.

There are no set ‘Smart Building’ standards as yet, but an emerging consensus is that a ‘Smart Building’ should be able to:

  • Allow Individual and collaborative efficiency – this could include room and desk booking systems, visitor guidance etc
  • Offer safer and healthier environments – this could include air quality reporting and monitoring etc
  • Offer access to local services and information  – this could include information about deliveries, local restaurant menus etc
  • Offer building sustainability reporting and tracking – this could include energy usage, monitoring, etc
  • Offer the ability for the building systems to respond to occupancy and usage which could reduce wear and tear and improve building performance – this could include optimisation of space and systems through data monitoring
  • Offer a safe and secure building – this could include access control and fire alarm systems etc

To achieve all of this, one approach is to target a high-level of coordination and interface between the various building systems, in addition to good digital connectivity. This requires coordination between the client, landlord, design team, facilities management and end-user throughout the design and construction stages of a project. However, integration can lead to complexity, cost and operational problems if the systems do not communicate seamlessly. Providing an overarching information system to report to owners and occupants can be a way of avoiding the pitfalls of attempting to integrate disparate systems.

An accreditation standard can often be a useful tool for design coordination and interface, as well as providing marketing opportunities. Whilst previously there were no formal certification schemes for a Smart Building, several schemes are now emerging. ‘SmartScore’ is one such scheme offered by WiredScore – a US-based company which offers certification for digital connectivity. It has recently launched ‘SmartScore’ as a certification scheme for user functionality and technological solutions, the core of a Smart Building. SmartScore has been rolled out to over 70 developments worldwide, including a large number in the UK.

If you are interested in Smart Buildings, digital connectivity and/or getting your building certified by SmartScore, please contact our Smart Building Champion peter.cotterell@scotchpartners.com for further information