Retrofitting to achieve WiredScore Platinum

Posted:

1 / 27 / 2022

Tagged:

WiredScore platinum

In conversation with Tony Howlings from Howlings Hodgson, talking the importance of WiredScore when it comes to boosting asset value.

WS–
How did you first hear about WiredScore?
TH–
The brand has been around for several years and, as far as I’m concerned, everyone knows about WiredScore. Any landlord who wants to keep their building at the forefront of the market has got to provide WiredScore because tenants need to know that the building is well connected.
WS–
When you report to the client, what do they care about in active asset management?
TH–
Attracting and retaining tenants is always a top priority. To achieve this, it’s essential that the building is an attractive place for businesses to work because, post-pandemic, it’s even more important that staff see the office as a desirable alternative to working from home.
WS–
How strong is the demand for ESG?
TH–
It’s very strong. The trouble is, we are at the start of the journey in considering these issues, nobody really has a defined idea of what it means to have a strong ESG matrix in your building, because it’s an evolving concept – we’re not even sure what net-zero carbon means in practice, so we have a long way to go.
WS–
When you see reports that reflect the ESG metrics of the building, does that help to guide your asset management strategy?
TH–
Yes. For example, we have produced ESG documents for buildings stating the 20 things we are doing (or have done) to the buildings to improve on sustainability, environmental and wellness factors. We are now considering putting that into a proper glossy brochure to show, but we are feeling our way into it.
WS–
Is WiredScore always in the plan for refurbishments?
TH–
Yes – when working with clients I always request that the budget takes achieving WiredScore certification into consideration. It’s often quite a journey getting buildings to Platinum involving a lot of collaborative work that uses WiredScore’s input to improve buildings from the very start of the refurbishment project.
WS–
With regards to physical improvements – how has WiredScore complemented your refurbishment work?
TH–
WiredScore has been very constructive and helpful in walking us through the process. It’s items like communal Wi-Fi and having alternative fiber connections that really stand out as key, and WiredScore’s guidance has been invaluable here. At one building in particular , we needed to secure an intake. It just so happened that the intake was coming in where we were building a new shower and bike hub. As we considered the issue at the early design stage, we were able to avoid the problem by providing access through the toilet block to the intake, as well as providing a lockable hatch for security.
WS–
What do you think the tenants of tomorrow will care about most?
TH–
To my eye, formality is on its way out. In the future, offices will present themselves in terms of layout: a lot more informal desks, a lot more touchdown collaboration space, designing Category A+ fit-outs, and providing a lot more breakout space. Similar to what we want in a comfortable home: an informal and relaxed environment that’s customisable to the individual, unique needs of each tenant. We are now at a tipping point: tenants will look to occupy buildings because there is digital provision there, which saves them considerable time and hassle!
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