Wiredscore opens first Asia Pacific office in Singapore to support regional push

By
/ EdgeProp Singapore
|
April 8, 2022 5:30 AM SGT
Wiredscore’s growth path in Asia Pacific over the long term will likely see the company deepen its presence in the commercial office segment but it also aspires to extend its certification scheme into residential developments, hospitality assets and retail assets.
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Wiredscore, the company behind the internationally recognised Wiredscore and Smartscore real estate certifications, is planning a big push into Asia Pacific over the next few years.
Over the past two months, the company has appointed Thomasin Crowley as its new global director of Asia Pacific as well as set up its regional headquarters and the first physical office in the region in Singapore.
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Wiredscore has earmarked Asia Pacific as a key growth market for the company. It wants to significantly grow its market presence and market share in the region over the next few years. Since its inception in 2013, the company has mainly been based in New York and London.
The company’s main product offerings are its two building certification schemes. The eponymous Wiredscore certification is a global digital connectivity rating scheme. The company works with landlords and building owners to access, improve, benchmark and promote buildings with high digital connectivity features.
The Smartscore certification helps developers and asset managers define a smart building and promotes best practices to develop them. This allows landlords to improve and communicate the user functionality and technological foundations of their real estate assets.
“Asia Pacific is an important growth market that presents vast potential, with fast innovation and rising tenant expectations for smarter, greener, safer buildings,” says Crowley, “We are excited to work closely with property owners, landlords, and developers to introduce our WiredScore and SmartScore certifications to make the region’s buildings smarter and better connected.”
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No longer just a buzzword

The real estate industry has recognised the global extent of its carbon footprint and the role it plays in mitigating climate change, especially from the built environment. Thus, Wiredscore wants to focus its efforts to roll out its certifications in the commercial real estate segment, says Crowley.
“This segment is a dynamic, fast-paced and growing industry in this region and this has helped fuel the growth of the office markets in key cities in the region. But we also see a change in the type of expectation and dynamics between tenants and landlords over the last year years as a result of the pandemic experience,” she says.
SINGAPORE CBD VIEW FROM SOUTH BEACH RESIDENCES - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Singapore’s commitment to be at the forefront of progress in sustainability in the built environment encouraged Wiredscore to set up its regional office here. (Picture: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
This has created a much closer partnership between occupiers and landlords to develop workspaces that are more conducive to the well-being and health of its occupants.
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Wiredscore conducted a survey of 200 real estate decision-makers in Singapore and Hong Kong to find out how landlords can optimise space for a more user-centric, sustainable and cost-efficient office building. The survey report Smart Nation: The Technology Transforming CRE was released in March.
The survey found that 85% of respondents would not sign a lease for an office building that does not feature smart technologies while close to 90% of respondents indicated a willingness to pay a rental premium to work in an office building with smart technologies.
“Smart technology done right is not the implementation of tech for tech’s sake but a long-term investment that will yield rewards far into the future, avoiding obsolescence and safeguarding the asset against evolutions in the technological landscape,” says Crowley.
The most important features that occupiers expect in a smart-enabled building are high-quality Internet connection and fault detection and diagnosis. Other desirable features include accessible energy & sustainability data and well-being reporting.
wiredscore survey - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
She points out that 98% of surveyed respondents think that landlords and developers need to leverage technology to make their buildings more environmentally sustainable and 21% say that working in a sustainable building is the main consideration.
“Tenants now want to see building data being utilised with transparency to make better, more informed decisions in regards to building use,” says Crowley. She adds that the significance tenants place on sustainably cannot be ignored.

Growth market

These trends, which is expected to accelerate in the next few years, helped Wiredscore decide that it is the right time to establish a more permanent presence in the region, says William Newton, president and managing director of Wiredscore. “We know that we want to be here and we know that this is the right time for us to set up our regional headquarters. We chose Singapore specifically as the country has shown its commitment to be at the forefront of progress in sustainability in the built environment,” he says.
He is referring to Singapore’s Smart Nation top-down initiative to harness information and communication technologies and big data to craft tech-enabled solutions as well as the country’s Green Plan movement to advance its national agenda on sustainable development.
“With the establishment of our regional headquarters in Singapore, we hope to foster a two-way learning and share the best practices that we know from Europe and the US, with Asia Pacific’s commercial real estate market,” says Newton.
In Asia Pacific, smart building technology is primarily utilised to address facilities management problems, while in Europe and the US it is more focused on delivering and improving the overall user experience in a building, he says.
TOMMY CROWLEY WILLIAM NEWTON FOR WEB LEAD - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Thomasin Crowley (left) steps in as Wiredscore’s new global director of Asia Pacific. She reports to William Newton, president and managing director of Wiredscore
Wiredscore’s growth path in Asia Pacific over the long term will likely see the company deepen its presence in the commercial office segment but it also aspires to extend its certification scheme into residential developments, hospitality assets and retail assets, says Newton. (Find Singapore commercial properties with our commercial directory)
He adds that as seen in major cities like New York and London, buildings with its certification see a 5% rental premium compared to similarly located buildings.
In Asia Pacific, he aims to partner with a variety of industry stakeholders to rollout its certifications. For example, Wiredscore sees opportunities to work with Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority with its existing Green Mark certification, especially the sections that evaluate the smart technology and connectivity features of buildings.
Wiredscore also wants to work with more developers and landlords. It will start by reaching out to developers it is already working with in other parts of the world. This includes Frasers Property, CapitaLand and Lendlease, says Newton.
Looking ahead, the company also aspires to open more offices in the region and is eyeing Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo as potential gateway cities. However, it is mainly focused on setting in its new Singapore team as of now, says Newton.

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