Smart buildings are those which incorporate technology to autonomously deliver optimised services. However the term is new and far from being fully defined, and it means different things to different people. This may be about to change. 

WiredScore, the company behind the certification standard for the connectivity of buildings, has launched a working group of leading landlords, tenants and developers, from around the globe, to collaborate to define what constitutes a 'smart building'. 

The council's aim is to establish what criteria and standards must be met before a building can be certified as smart, with the end goal of launching a new smart building certification. To develop the certification the council members will explore factors which relate to buildings' operational efficiency, optimisation and obsolescence, and their ability to deliver “an inspirational user experience”.

Connectivity is currently the critical factor for many occupiers when choosing their new space, so much so that a well connected building can underpin rental yields. However, smart is not just a question of connectivity. 

Many of the changes we will see in our offices over the next 5 years will be technology driven. Sensors providing real time data will allow landlords and occupiers to deliver buildings that better serve the people who work (and live) there. Usage will be able to be monitored and, more importantly, predicted so services can be optimised. Smart buildings will also be better equipped to be sustainable, with the data able to be utilised to make better and more responsive decisions. For example, automatically linking the provision air conditioning to the usage of space will improve user experience, help save cost and lower environmental impact. 

With the future of the office currently under question, what seems clear is that if the office is to have a future, it must be a space in which people want to spend their time. If a smart building is better able to create a user experience that attracts and retains the best talent, it is likely to be popular with both landlords and occupiers. How we measure 'smart' is therefore an important step in delivering the offices of the future. 

Members of the WiredScore Smart Council include: Allianz Real Estate; Allied Properties REIT; AXA; British Land; Commerz Real AG; Deliveroo; Derwent London; Fifth Wall; Gecina; Great Portland Estates; Hines; KingSett Capital; KPMG; Legal & General; Nuveen Real Estate; OVG Real Estate/EDGE Technologies; Patrizia; PGIM Real Estate; Rudin Management Company; and U+I