October 22, 2021

Smart building will be top of its class within the North-East

A new office building currently being constructed in Newcastle city centre will be the smartest building in the North-East when it’s completed next year.

One Strawberry Lane, which is being built in the St James’ area of the city, is the first building in the region to go for SmartScore certification. The accreditation is the highest possible rating a building can achieve and to date less than 100 worldwide have gone through or are going through the process. 

SmartScore signifies best in class in smart buildings, which deliver an exceptional user experience, drive cost efficiency, meet high standards of sustainability and are fully future proof.

To achieve SmartScore accreditation, a building must pass 60 stringent certification levels, including everything from wayfinding, person locating and disease prevention through to air quality, predictive maintenance and smart building strategy. 

This new certification sits alongside the building’s WiredScore certification, which certifies and improves digital connectivity.  Already, One Strawberry Lane has achieved the highest WiredScore rating, Platinum, for its planned digital technology.

Most of the 70,000 sq ft space will be the new head office for Home Group – one of the UK’s largest housing organisations, which is moving from its current home in Longbenton.

One Strawberry Lane is being built specifically so Home Group can operate within the new hybrid ways of working, and is expected to disrupt traditional thinking on workspace design.

It will act as an interactive hub where staff spend part of the working week collaborating on ideas, projects or issues, while spending the remainder working from home.

Space within the building is also being made available for commercial let and the WiredScore and SmartScore certifications are expected to be real attractions for companies looking to benefit from the latest technology and workspace design.

Nathalie Baxter, Head of Workspace at Home Group, said: “Achieving WiredScore and SmartScore certification isn’t about having blingy tech in the building, it’s about tailoring the SMART technology that’s out there to support our own user activities and environmental requirements in order to provide an exceptional experience in the building for our colleagues, tenants and customers. 

“Achieving these accreditations means we know we have produced a building that can be effectively programmed, utilised and monitored to respond to the ebb and flow of hybrid working which will support sustainable outcomes both now and in the future.

“For organisations it offers greater collaborative working, increased productivity, along with improved health and well-being for their workforces.”

One Strawberry Lane is being developed by Ask Real Estate and built by BAM Construction.