A new office development, built to revitalise Middlesbrough town centre and kick start the local economy, has been awarded the same top rating for digital connectivity as two of the world’s most iconic buildings.
One Centre Square is one of the first UK commercial buildings to be given a Platinum Certificate by WiredScore, which provides a global rating scheme.
“This confirms One Centre Square as best in class across all features of connectivity, meaning businesses and employees can benefit from the same level of connectivity as the Empire State Building and The Shard,” said William Newton, WiredScore’s President and Managing Director, EMEA.
An investment to provide the highest level of digital infrastructure demonstrated an ambition to “create a dynamic and productive environment for business,” said Mr Newton, whose organisation has certified more than 500 million square feet of commercial property across the world since 2013.
One Centre Square is the first building in Middlesbrough to receive a Platinum rating. There is only one other in the North East and, of the 384 buildings and developments assessed in London, just 16% have been awarded the highest level of certification.
Centre Square developer Mark Ashall said WiredScore’s assessment was another indication of the standards achieved by the project, which has already been nominated for a number of prestigious architecture awards.
“We set out to create a high-quality office working environment which provides all the features a modern occupier wants, including sustainability, flexibility, energy efficiency, space efficiency as well as excellent connectivity,” he said.
Centre Square’s occupiers will not only have the most reliable of connections when they move in. The building’s digital infrastructure has been designed to cope with the increase in future demand for secure access to data.
Measures to ensure companies can still carry on working in the event a major incident, such as a fire or a flood, have also been provided.
Two climate controlled underground universal communications chambers – housing equipment and cable intakes – have been built on different sides of the building. If connections are disrupted to one, the second one provides a seamless back up.
The Centre Square project was launched five years ago after the influential think-tank Centre for Cities concluded that Middlesbrough town centre needed Grade A offices to attract large companies offering well-paid jobs which, in turn, would have a beneficial impact on the local economy.
In July Two Centre Square, a three-storey 35,000 sq ft office building, was completed. One Centre Square followed two months later. It is bigger – 60,000 sq ft over four storeys – with a large space for a restaurant/café on the ground floor.
Both buildings have been shortlisted for the inaugural Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Social Impact Awards which recognise the built environment’s “positive and transformational contribution to society”.
They have also been nominated in the British Council of Offices’ best Commercial Workplace Award.