Commercial Landlords urged to up their game as Hodge House becomes first building in Wales to gain gold rating for digital connectivity

Commercial landlords need to think about the services they offer, with digital connectivity increasingly becoming a driving factor for location choice.

A Wired Certified Gold rating means a building has been designed to incorporate most of the connectivity features that matter most to tenants: redundancy and resiliency of telecom infrastructure, ease of installation and capacity to readily support new telecom services.

The independent audit rates the infrastructure, connectivity and technological capacity of commercial property and is a trusted international benchmark for occupiers to help them make an informed decision before signing a lease.

Legal & General’s refurbished Hodge House office building in central Cardiff is a perfect example, recently becoming being the first building in Wales to achieve a Wired Certified Gold rating for its digital connectivity and infrastructure.

Legal & General recently completed a comprehensive refurbishment and re-branding to bring the 110,000 sq ft, eight-storey Grade II listed Hodge House office building in Cardiff city centre into the 21st century. Within the past few weeks AI imaging specialist, Intelligent Ultrasound and fintech company Currencycloud have taken leases in the building.

Legal & General has committed 2 million sq ft of its commercial real estate portfolio and over 1,000 residential homes to WiredScore certification (Wired Certification), to meet the demand for premium connectivity – which has been accelerated by the Covid crisis.

Andrew Mercer, Office Sector Lead at LGIM Real Assets said: “We are delighted that Hodge House has been recognised for its hyper-connectivity; providing our occupiers with a seamless digital experience, and future-proofing our investment for years to come.”

“During the course of this year, we have seen a significant shift to the way in which we live and work, with digital connectivity providing a lifeline for individuals and businesses alike. The demand for premium connectivity has been accelerated, and Legal & General recognises high-speed and reliable connectivity will be one of the most important factors for occupiers searching for a new office.

“Real estate owners must meet – and exceed – occupiers’ expectations of what a building can offer, with digital infrastructure forming a fundamental part of how they future proof buildings. At Legal & General, we recognise the significance of flexible and reliable digital infrastructure, in providing a superior occupier experience.”

Knight Frank and Fletcher Morgan are joint letting agents for Hodge House.

Matt Phillips, head of the Cardiff office of Knight Frank, said: “This Gold rating for best-in-class digital connectivity shows how well Legal & General has been able to add the very best of modern technology to the architectural splendour of the 1930s to create Grade A office accommodation that is truly special.”

John James, director at Fletcher Morgan, added: “We have already achieved two lettings whilst in lockdown. The quality and sympathetic nature of the refurbished offices at Hodge House provides a stand-out product for which we are receiving considerable tenant interest and this bodes well as we begin the recovery stage of the pandemic. “

William Newton, President and MD of WiredScore EMEA of WiredScore, commented: “The rating shows that WiredScore has recognised Legal & General as one of the UK’s most forward-thinking landlords. They have realised the immense value of investing in flexible and reliable digital infrastructure as part of their mission to provide a superior experience for their tenants.”

Features of the Hodge House installation that earned the Wired Certified Gold rating included providing a choice of three highspeed fibre providers – BT Openreach, Virgin and Vodafone –  throughout the building; the provision of multiple communications intakes and dual riser cupboards to remove potential vulnerabilities, and secure, protected telecom cables to minimise the risk of damage or data theft.

Public Wi-Fi is provided in common areas to enhance connectivity access throughout the building.