BTL Mark: Resolve interoperability issues & increase buyer confidence
Comments by Ken Sinclair
EMAIL INTERVIEW – What is the SPIRE™ program, and how does it help shape the definition of a smart building?
Elyse Hobson is a senior product manager at UL, the global safety science leader. At UL, she serves as the product lead for the SPIRETM Smart Building Program, the world’s first comprehensive smart building assessment and rating program. In her role, she is also responsible for the SPIRE program’s ecosystem integrations and partnerships.
SPIRE is the industry’s first smart building program that holistically measures building technology and performance. The SPIRE program evaluates building intelligence based on an expertly curated, objective framework developed by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), UL and over 60 industry‑leading organizations. After an evaluation is completed, the customer receives a rating so it can showcase its smart building’s performance. SPIRE leverages six key technology pillars in defining the full scope of smart building performance. By assessing, validating and rating within this industry-first holistic framework, customers can optimize asset performance, return on investment and tenant relations — all at once.
SPIRE’s key differentiating feature is that it is more comprehensive than other assessments that often focus on only one pillar, such as connectivity or sustainability. The criteria in SPIRE cover all aspects of a building and its technology profile, such as health and wellbeing, cybersecurity and life and property safety. SPIRE’s assessment criteria were formulated by various industry working groups which provides SPIRE with a comprehensive and objective view of a smart building. While other solutions focus on one building vertical, such as commercial real estate, SPIRE focuses on a wide variety of building types, including hospitals, universities and airports.
SPIRE is not only an assessment and validation tool, but it also provides an implementation road map by identifying key focus areas that include suggestions on how to improve the intelligence of the building in each assessed category. This can lead to increases in asset and brand value, reductions in operating cost and improvements in occupant experiences. SPIRE can be leveraged to help ensure that building technologies are ready for future use cases and outcomes to better align with the mission of the building.
SPIRE helps customers capture the information they need to help make their building a success from the start of a building transformation to the post implementation assessment. Customers include, but are not limited to, building owners, property management firms, occupants, consulting firms, real estate investment trusts, equipment manufacturers and technology integrators.
The SPIRE Smart Building Verified Assessment provides a comprehensive evaluation of a smart building. The assessment is conducted via a combination of on-site and virtual engagements with an auditor. An auditor works with the customer to assess the building’s intelligence by examining its integrated technologies and processes. Once the assessment is performed, the building is scored against the SPIRE criteria and earns a UL Verified SPIRE Smart Building Rating. By comparing against the baseline results established in the self-assessment, the verified assessment can help validate if retrofit projects achieve desired outcomes and use cases.
SPIRE provides a comprehensive analysis of a building’s intelligence rather than the building’s performance against a particular pillar, such as cybersecurity or sustainability. SPIRE helps showcase the value of a smart building. SPIRE is based on assessment criteria formulated by industry working groups. Each building has a mission which is defined by the values and goals of its occupants. SPIRE showcases how a building aligns with its mission and its commitment to its smart goals through scoring the application of its technologies and processes.
Senior Product Manager
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