SPIRE Smart Buildings™️ Program
Built by TIA and UL, SPIRE™ is the industry’s first smart building program that holistically measures building technology and performance. The SPIRE Self-Assessment online tool can evaluate building intelligence and performance based on an expertly curated, objective and holistic framework across six major criteria, including power and energy, health and well-being, life and property safety, connectivity, cybersecurity and sustainability. The SPIRE Verified Assessment and Rating offers a complete smart building evaluation with the opportunity to earn a Smart Building Verified Mark and a plaque to proudly display the Verified Mark.
Current services include:
Self-assessment - The first step for evaluating a building or space. It allows users to input their building data online and receive an initial snapshot to gain insights into the current state of their smart building ecosystem.
Verified assessment - The SPIRE Smart Buildings Verified Assessment entails an in-depth assessment and evaluation by UL auditors and engineers, either on-site or virtual engagements. After the assessments are complete, a UL Verified Mark containing star building rating (1 to 5 stars) is assigned. The star rating can be promoted with a program plaque. A detailed report is provided with valuable insights to further enhance your building performance is also provided.
SPIRE assesses smart buildings holistically
Power and Energy
Health and Wellbeing
Life and Property Safety
Energy demand charges and purchases remain one of the largest components of a building’s operating budget. We evaluate criteria in:
• Energy use management and analysis
• Demand response
• Grid interoperability
• Distributed energy resources
With emerging digital health and well-being tools and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, smart buildings must exceed expectations for health and well-being. We evaluate criteria in:
• Indoor air quality
• Thermal management
• Visual human comfort
• Light and noise control
• Potable water quality
• Odor management
Optimizing the safety of building occupants is the top priority for owners and operators. From fire safety to emergency response, building liability starts with preparation. We evaluate criteria in:
• Building emergency plans
• Integrated system performance
• Situational awareness
• Emergency communications
Often dubbed the fourth utility, connectivity has become the most essential utility of a smart building. We evaluate criteria in:
Cyberattacks and back-door mechanisms threaten to disrupt critical smart building infrastructure. We measure and provide best practices through:
A smart building is a sustainable building. We assess performance based on a wide array of existing frameworks and certification programs:
• Green Globes
• Living Building Challenge
• WELL Building Standard
• International Green Construction Code and CALGreen
SPIRE™️ Qualification Program
This program is designed for both companies and assessors.
SPIRE™ qualified companies are expected to create additional channels to increase awareness of the SPIRE Smart Buildings Assessment™ among companies involved with smart buildings.
Companies can promote their status as a SPIRE™ qualified company, sell SPIRE™ assessment services and deliver SPIRE assessments utilizing their own UL SPIRE™ qualified assessors. The assessor qualification program includes UL instructor-led classroom training, examination, field training and ongoing reassessment.
Companies and their assessors are listed on UL’s website in the SPIRE™ qualified company and assessor database to give interested building owners and other parties access to local, expert resources.
The company and assessor activities will help establish a single definition of a smart building.
Company Responsibilities and Qualification
To participate in the SPIRE™ Qualification Program responsibilities include:
As part of the qualification process, UL evaluates industry involvement and knowledge of each company and prospective assessor. This evaluation includes review of a company's processes and programs to remain up-to-date with relevant technologies and industry knowledge. UL will also evaluate ongoing training and education programs for company assessors.
- Promote and assist with conducting self-assessments.
- Quote and sell verification assessments.
- Maintain SPIRE™ qualified assessors to conduct verification assessments.
- Maintain a training and education program for their assessors for smart-building technologies and industry knowledge.
- Advertise and promote their involvement in SPIRE.
Once a company is qualified, UL adds the company details to the SPIRE™ qualified company and assessor database. After a company successfully completes the qualification process, they can request prospective assessors be entered into UL's SPIRE™ qualified assessor qualification program.
All SPIRE™ qualified assessors are listed in UL’s SPIRE™ qualified company and assessor database, and receives a certificate upon qualification. Candidate assessors undergo the same rigorous and comprehensive training and qualification as UL staff providing SPIRE™ services.
Typical prerequisite and eligibility qualifications for assessors include:
- Knowledge of the smart building industry
- At least three years of experience in the smart building industry. Relevant experience consulting, design, implementation of smart building projects,etc.
- Preferred experience/qualifications:
- Assessment experience to nationally and internationally recognized standards and requirements.
- ASQ-CQA certification.
- ISO 9001:2015 lead assessors preferred.
- Knowledge of certification programs such as LEED, Fitwel and WELL.
Initial qualification requirements include the following:
- Instructor-led classroom training provided by UL
- SPIRE™ tool and criteria.
- SPIRE™ program and process requirements.
- SPIRE™ roles and responsibilities.
- Requirements for objective evidence gathering and its materiality.
- Written examination.
- Field training – Verified assessments conducted under supervision of UL SPIRE™ engineers.
Once the candidate assessor has successfully demonstrated the necessary skills, they are qualified and authorized to perform verified assessments without supervision. UL reviews and makes all decisions regarding completed verified assessments, and will provide feedback and/or training to SPIRE™ qualified assessors on an ongoing basis.
A SPIRE™ qualified assessor certificate is valid for two years, at which time all assessors must successfully retake the SPIRE™ written exam to ensure they have kept up-to-date with the program and its criteria and processes. In addition, the assessor is required to conduct minimum number of assessments in a year to maintain qualification.
If UL determines that an assessor has failed to demonstrate SPIRE™ program competency and knowledge, or has not met the SPIRE™ qualified company and qualified assessor contract requirements, an assessor may have to undergo a re-qualification process. The re-qualification process may include classroom or field training, or written examination. UL can also choose to terminate an assessor’s qualification.
Assesor Qualification levels
SPIRE™ qualified assessors are assigned a level, as described below:
- Complete the SPIRE™ initial qualification process and maintain qualification requirements above.
- Conducts verified assessments.
- Maintain professional-level qualification defined above.
- Conducts verified assessments.
- Has conducted a minimum of 15 SPIRE™ assessments within 2 years.
- The expert additionally gains the following privileges:
- Participate in SPIRE™-related panels and webinars.
- Act as a TIA Smart Buildings Working Group (SBWG) member.
- Inclusion in smart buildings networks and ecosystem.
- All expert level credentials are approved by the UL SPIRE™ program owner.
The assessor is responsible for scheduling and conducting an assessment, as well as providing all relevant objective evidence and SPIRE™ verified assessment details to UL.
UL will determine the SPIRE Smart Building Assessment™ rating based on a program review of the SPIRE verified assessment results and supporting objective evidence. After discussion with the assessor, the UL program reviewer may modify the recommended rating provided by the assessor if it is determined that the evidence does not support the recommendation. Following the final assessment review UL will contract directly with the client for the verification.
UL reserves the right to determine if the UL Verified Mark and accompanying documentation (SPIRE™ artifact/certificate, assessment report, building rating and listing of the verified assessment on the UL Verify database) can be issued as an outcome of the assessment.
SPIRE™️ Qualified Companies and SPIRE™️ Qualified Assessors
UL has signed up the following companies as SPIRE™ qualified companies and certified their respective candidates as SPIRE™ qualified assessors.
- Please refer to “SPIRE qualified company and assessor database” under References for complete listing details.