UL and the Telecommunications Industry Association have launched the SPIRE Smart Building Program, which they describe as a “comprehensive and objective assessment and rating program” for smart buildings.
Created in a partnership by the two organizations, 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,” UL and TIA said.
The assessment criteria were developed with the input of a TIA industry working group of more than 60 leading commercial real estate, real estate investment trust, asset management, technology and telecommunications industry leaders.
The program consists of two key components: the online SPIRE Self-Assessment and a UL Verified Assessment and Rating. The SPIRE Self-Assessment, which is available now in version 1.0, is the first step for assessing a building or space that allows users to gain initial insights into six criteria that describe the current state of their smart building. These criteria categories include life and property safety, health and well-being, connectivity, power and energy, cybersecurity and sustainability.
The SPIRE Verified Assessment and Rating, which will be available in the first quarter of 2021, involves an in-depth audit by UL and is an “objective, evidence-based assessment” that uses the six criteria. A successful assessment results in a UL Verified Mark, a plaque and a building performance score based on the six key criteria categories of the SPIRE smart building assessment framework.
“The integration of all building systems is now technically possible and is becoming a necessity for success in a very competitive market,” said David Stehlin, CEO of TIA. “Fully integrated systems are enabling advanced building automation that helps increase efficiency, optimize operations and enhance overall occupant productivity and wellbeing. By assessing, validating and rating key building elements that take into consideration the entirety of a smart building, SPIRE can simultaneously help improve asset performance, ROI and tenant relations.”
The SPIRE Smart Building Program was developed over the past two years and included a collaboration with Corning Optical Communications, the program’s first pilot partner, to test the program’s overall assessment approach.
Brian Davis, Corning’s director of global market development for in-building networks, said: “When we developed our new Optical Communications headquarters building in Charlotte, we used our industry-leading technology to create a facility that can serve as a model for future smart buildings as we help move the industry forward. After completion, TIA and UL helped evaluate and verify that we were meeting or exceeding performance levels in each of the six smart building criteria.”
The SPIRE assessment provided insight into how Corning’s power- and fiber-to-the-edge network and ubiquitous wireless coverage impacted bandwidth availability and connectivity reliability, safe power and centralized backups, advanced safety surveillance and network cybersecurity as well as lower energy consumption.
TIA and UL also highlighted that a better understanding of operations efficiency, overall costs and risk mitigation of building portfolios in light of the pandemic has become a top priority of commercial real estate companies, building owners, managers and tenants.