White Collar Factory e1644311923557

Why are landlords getting AirRated?

As occupiers demand healthier spaces, Derwent London’s White Collar Factory has become the latest prime office building to sign up to an indoor air quality rating scheme.

Launched in March 2020, AirRated assesses the indoor air quality of commercial and residential buildings, assigning a rating known as an AirScore.

To date, the scheme has certified more than 10m sq ft of space in the UK, along with one building – Manhattan Centre – in Brussels.

Though focused on the UK market, AirRated also has “some exciting US projects” in the pipeline, a spokesperson said.

How it works

When a building signs up for certification, AirRated spends three weeks gathering data on five parameters: humidity, temperature, PM2.5, TVOCs (total volatile organic compounds) and carbon dioxide.

AirRated then assigns an AirScore of platinum, gold, silver or certified.

The company also provides a detailed analysis of the building’s indoor air quality with suggestions for improvements.

A separate rating – AirScore D&O – is available for buildings in development.

The 16-storey, 220,000 sq ft White Collar Factory in London’s Old Street will undergo a three-week environmental survey while the building is in use to determine its rating.

Developer Derwent London previously had its 19-35 Baker Street building certified gold, while its Featherstone building, scheduled for completion in March, is being assessed for an AirScore D&O rating.

Derwent’s involvement follows Legal and General Investment Management striking a partnership with AirRated in late 2021 to certify 2.3m sq ft of its UK portfolio.

So far, LGIM has had 12 buildings certified, including several rated platinum:

  • 245 Hammersmith Road in London
  • The Hyde in Watford
  • Apex in Reading

Pandemic ‘shifted the needle’

Two-thirds of large companies (>10,000 employees) consider indoor air quality as a “critical” building amenity last summer, according to a CBRE occupier sentiment survey last summer.

There was a similar trend among US occupiers, with CBRE reporting: “Indoor air quality, filtration and monitoring are now the most important building level enhancements underway.”

Francesca Brady, CEO of AirRated, said: “The pandemic has shifted the needle in terms of occupier expectations, and we’re seeing a real gap opening up in public confidence.

“The return to offices in 2021 showed us that buildings that are well designed, well ventilated and well serviced were relatively well used. In contrast, large amounts of lower quality space remains mothballed more than 18 months after the beginning of the first national lockdown.”

Other landlords that have signed up to AirRated include Brunswick Real Estate, FORE Partnerhsip, General Projects and Maurice Investments.

Basil Demeroutis, managing partner at FORE, said: “With city centre workers ever more aware of how poor air quality affects their health, demand for clean air in workplaces has never been higher.

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