WiredScore, the company behind the international standard which rates Internet connectivity in commercial buildings, continues to expand across Canada since its launch in October.
“Technology and digital connectivity have become non-negotiable factors for companies that are evaluating office space,” said WiredScore founder and chief executive officer Arie Barendrecht. “We have experienced overwhelming interest from Canadian landlords seeking to prepare their buildings for this generation of office workers who have recognized that investing in and promoting first-rate technological infrastructure will help to attract and retain office tenants.
“As an internationally recognized benchmark, Wired Certification makes it easy to communicate those investments to the market and distinguish your property as a best-in-class asset from a digital perspective.”
Wired Certification rates the infrastructure, connectivity and technological capacity of buildings. It can help shorten leasing cycles and, according to recent analysis by the CoStar Portfolio Strategy team, increase the price per square foot owners can get in rents.
Wired Certification recipients
The first buildings to achieve Wired Certification in Canada were: KingSett Capital and Bentall Kennedy’s Scotia Plaza; Cadillac Fairview’s Toronto-Dominion Centre; Menkes Developments’ One York Street and 4711 Yonge Street; Ivanhoe Cambridge and Hines’ CIBC Square; Canderel’s 3500 Steeles; and Hullmark’s 76 Stafford.
Seventy-five Canadian office buildings have now committed to achieving Wired Certification, including: British Columbia Investment Management Corporation’s Commerce Court and Dream Office REIT’s Adelaide Place in Toronto; Ivanhoé Cambridge and Manulife’s Maison Manuvie and Ivanhoé Cambridge’s Place Ville Marie in Montreal; and GWL Realty Advisors’ Vancouver Centre II.
Twenty-four million square feet of office space have been Wired Certified or are in the process of being certified in Canada.
Fifteen commercial building owners are using Wired Certification to make their office assets future-proofed and competitive: Bentall Kennedy, Cadillac Fairview, Canderel, Carttera, Dream Office REIT, GWL Realty Advisors, Hines, Hullmark, IAM Group, Ivanhoé Cambridge, KingSett Capital, Menkes Developments, NorthWest Healthcare Properties, PCI Developments and QuadReal Property Group.
Canadian WiredScore guidelines coming
“Our engineering team is preparing to release The Wired Certification Guidelines for Developments and Redevelopments – Canada, a handbook outlining best practices for designing office buildings with connectivity in mind,” said Barendrecht.
“The guidelines are based on the edition that we issued last year in the United States, but it has been customized to address the nuances of the Canadian telecommunications market. We’ve incorporated new recommendations for developers, architects and engineers.
WiredScore launched Wired Certification in 2013 in partnership with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the City of New York. An investment group led by Bessemer Venture Partners and Fifth Wall Ventures acquired the company’s majority share last October.
WiredScore also operates in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and Germany. Barendrecht said the focus for 2018 is on expanding regionally in the countries where it already operates. More that 400 million square feet of commercial real estate in 1,400-plus buildings has been Wired Certified globally.
Digital needs similar around the world
“What we’ve found is that tenants’ digital needs are consistent across the countries and cities that we expand in,” said Barendrecht. “There are similar pain points that we can help solve from a leasing standpoint and from an asset management perspective.
“Tenants demand convenience and flexibility in their office space and historically there have been pain points surrounding technology and connectivity in terms of how fast they can get service set up in the building, the quality and reliability of Internet service available to them, or mobile coverage issues.
“In a digitally based economy, this isn’t always just an inconvenience. It can become a liability for businesses in terms of productivity, employee retention and efficient operations.”