UL and the Telecommunications Industry Association have launched the SPIRE™ Smart Building Verified Assessment, a comprehensive evaluation for smart buildings that provides an overall UL Verified SPIRE Smart Building Rating.

UL, TIA introduce SPIRE smart building verifications

Nov. 4, 2021
The SPIRE verified assessment provides a comprehensive building assessment and rating to help owners, operators, asset managers and developers make better-informed investment decisions, improve tenant satisfaction and increase asset value.

Global safety science authority UL and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) on Nov. 2 officially launched the SPIRE Smart Building Verified Assessment, a comprehensive evaluation platform for smart buildings which provides for an overall UL Verified SPIRE Smart Building Rating, as well as a road map for recommended performance improvements.

For sites to receive a UL Verified SPIRE Smart Building Rating, UL experts conduct an in-depth, on-site audit assessment of technologies and processes and follow-up with virtual meetings. The process focuses on six key, industry-driven building criteria categories that define the full scope of smart building performance.

These include power and energy, health and well-being, life and property safety, connectivity, cybersecurity and sustainability.

After a successful assessment, a building receives a UL Verified SPIRE Smart Building Rating and a plaque that displays the site's overall building performance score, based on the building's performance across the six criteria categories of the SPIRE smart building assessment framework.

The SPIRE Smart Building Verified Assessment is part of the SPIRE Smart Building Program, billed as "the world's first, comprehensive and objective assessment and rating program for smart buildings, created in a partnership between the TIA and UL."

David Stehlin, CEO of TIA, observed:

"The bottom line is that a smart building improves the value of the property and at its core is designed in comprehensive connectivity. 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 Verified Assessment complements the existing SPIRE Self-Assessment, which empowers users to input building data in a secure browser-based application to gain insights into the current state of their building ecosystem.

For both the Self-Assessment and the Verified Assessment and Rating, the SPIRE Smart Building Program provides an assessment of connected technologies within buildings, delivering insights, benchmarks and road maps to help the building owner or operator lower costs, mitigate risks, create brand differentiation and enhance overall asset value. SPIRE also provides a structured means to assess the design outcomes for and adoption of smart building technologies.

Program notes

SPIRE was originally part of an overall initiative between TIA and UL to share commercial, technical and standardization insights to further their work in the smart buildings ecosystem.

The SPIRE Smart Building Program includes assessment criteria input from the TIA Smart Buildings Program Industry Working Group of more than 60 leading commercial real estate, real estate investment trust, asset management, technology and telecommunications industry leaders.

"Producing smart outcomes as part of a building's digital transformation strategy requires a holistic, industry-defined assessment to measure and understand the entire building's capabilities and progress over time," asserted Mia Raths, property manager at D.C.-based MRP Realty. "It has been a pleasure to work with the TIA Smart Buildings Program Industry Working Group and meet the top industry leaders who developed SPIRE's assessment criteria. As the most holistic and comprehensive smart building assessment on the market, SPIRE helps identify new areas to invest in to increase both the smart building capabilities and, more importantly, the overall value in their properties."

UL's Verified SPIRE Smart Building Rating comes at a time when businesses are assessing smart building needs for a return-to-work in light of COVID-19. As further contended by UL:

Traditionally, smart buildings have focused on the impact they have on the environment and economy. According to the World Green Building Council, buildings constitute 36% of global energy consumption and are responsible for 39% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Curbing energy use and automating temperature monitoring and lighting remain important.

However, the pandemic has brought new priorities to building operators looking for smart building systems to aid with tracking and tracing the virus among workers, physical distancing, contactless entry, temperature reading, ventilation and airflow and other efforts to keep workers safe. SPIRE assessments provide insight into smart building performance and also help communicate a commitment to the health and well-being of its occupants.

"As employees return to workplaces, operators overseeing smart building assets are looking for guidance to help better align new smart building technology adoption, performance strategies and operational efficiencies," concluded Sudhi Sinha, vice president of Ecosystems and Service Development and SPIRE Smart Building Program lead at UL. "The SPIRE Smart Building Program does just that by providing insight to smart building technologies and outcomes while helping to empower informed decisions about where to focus technology, building enhancements and business optimizations."

For more information, visit www.UL.com/SPIRE.

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