IBOS: Buildings are changing and how we assess them needs to change too


3 / 9 / 2022


WiredScore was proud to be a part of the working group that contributed to the International Building Operation Standard (IBOS).

Released for the first time in February 2022, the framework provides a new way of assessing building performance. Below we take a quick look at what IBOS seeks to provide and why it matters.

“The way buildings are used is changing. Environmental concerns have come to the fore; attitudes to health and wellbeing are evolving rapidly; expectations of the workplace are far more sophisticated.

“We must take a broader approach to decision making in the way we use property. IBOS will address how organizations work with their buildings by creating consistency on cost elements for workspace, people and technology to optimize the value for all concerned.” Paul Bagust, Head of Property Standard, RICS.

Providing a new, global framework for the real estate industry, the International Building Operation Standard (IBOS) has been delivered by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to reach beyond traditional ways of assessing building performance, focusing on the end user to provide a consistent way of benchmarking.

The global pandemic has expedited the adoption of new ways of working and, as such, has presented a need to adopt a people-centric approach to how spaces are operated and used. IBOS equips professionals with a range of data to inform decisions around ESG and sustainability, building optimization and user-experience. Developed alongside the market, it has been endorsed by a range of organizations, including large office occupiers, universities, service provider firms and government departments.

How does it work?

Beneath the user experience north star, IBOS assesses five separate pillars:

  • Compliant
  • Functional
  • Economic
  • Sustainable
  • Performing

Each pillar has a set of indicators and linked data sources to inform on performance. The idea is that building operators should identify relevant indicators beneath the pillars, capture the data and then analyze it over time to create gap analysis. Once this is in place operators can then prepare a value creation plan to close these gaps and then, finally, identify and report on the outcomes achieved.

With its absolute focus on user-centricity and the need to capture and use data to enhance decision-making the framework is a notable shift away from more traditional and narrow ways of assessing building performance. It’s a progressive step but one aligned with WiredScore’s own philosophy when it comes to assessing buildings.


IBOS places the user at its heart. Taking into consideration how working patterns and behaviors have changed over the last couple of years, IBOS recognizes that now, more than ever, the user needs to be front and center of decision making. This echoes WiredScore’s definition of a smart building, which places user experience as one of the four core pillars of its SmartScore certification: offices need to be user-centric spaces, able to understand and adapt to our usage on a day-to-day basis. The only way to facilitate this is via a robust technological infrastructure that learns from its occupiers and adapts accordingly.

Data in the driver’s seat

Every aspect of our lives is driven by data. Whether in the home or at work or in between, we’ve become accustomed to a tech-enabled lifestyle that can only be enhanced through data-informed decisions. Optimizing a building’s space and systems for its users through more immediate and detailed performance data allows, among many other things, for focused maintenance regimes and more finely tuned system performance. Having a standardized, scalable approach is paramount to helping understanding a building’s outputs, deciding on what needs to change, measuring change and, finally, implementing improvements.

IBOS is a clear and welcome response to the real estate sector becoming more user-centric. At the same time, it points to the need to update the way the industry assesses building performance to reflect this shift. WiredScore is proud to have played a role in the delivery of IBOS and are excited to see how this framework can be a catalyst for change, shaping the future of real estate.

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