If you are looking for information to build smart apartments or convert an existing multifamily building into a smart one, you’re likely to find this five-minute read quite helpful. In this article, we’ll look at what smart apartments are, how to create them, and some of the best smart building companies you can contact to get started.
What are Smart Apartments?
A smart apartment building is a complete ecosystem in which different software applications and hardware devices can communicate with each other and exchange data. The data from all devices is analyzed and used to control different systems in a way that increases security, convenience, efficiency, and eco-friendliness of the building.
For example, certain smart buildings can use weather forecasts to program smart thermostats or predict cleaning schedules. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies are making forays into smart buildings, making them smarter each passing day.
Is there a Certification or Standard for Smart Apartments?
If you are going to build a smart apartment building in Europe, you might be subjected to articles 14 and 15 of the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). Your building will be rated using the SRI or Emart Readiness Indicator introduced under article 8a of the EPBD.
In the USA and other countries, no specific government standards exist for rating or evaluating smart buildings. However, the LEED certification system introduced by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and the BRE Environment Assessment Method (BREEAM) are widely recognized green building standards that may be used for rating and certifying smart buildings too.
How Can I Convert My Regular Apartments into Smart Apartments?
According to classical understanding, a smart building has to be “wired” from the inside out. However, the almost ubiquitous and uninterrupted presence of WiFi broadband has eliminated the need to run cables throughout modern buildings.
Almost all modern smart systems can connect with the internet and with each other wirelessly. All you need is an IoT platform to integrate different systems, apply AI if needed, and let you monitor and control everything from a central dashboard.
For most building owners, the quickest and easiest way to create a smart built space is to go for pre-integrated solutions that allow you to automate multiple building systems and control them centrally.
For example, a smart access control system allows you to manage doors and users, video call residents from the entry station, schedule automatic access for guests, and control everything from a simple interface.
Swiftlane and other cloud-based systems offer wireless connectivity along with APIs and SDKs that enable them to talk to other systems such as HVAC, rent management, and smart lighting through an IoT network.
How to Build Smart Apartments from the Ground Up?
Connectivity is the first thing you should consider. The first step is to install an IoT network that connects building automation systems, smart devices, residents, management, and external services.
Different components of the IoT network may include smart sensors, smart thermostats, smart access control, WiFi-as-a-Service, and a centralized management interface.
The second step is to choose an IoT automation platform. It is like the brain of the system and can work with minimal human input once it has the data to process. AI powered platforms can draw conclusions from data and use them to make decisions that lead to better efficiency and resident experience.
There are many IoT platforms available, such as Smart Factory, Hologram, Particle, Azure IoT Central, and AWS IoT Core. The choice of the platform depends on the systems you want to connect.
The simplest way to go might be to work with an IoT consultant firm or managed IoT services provider. They can work with your executive teams and IT professionals to design your IoT infrastructure.
The Best Smart Apartment Companies to Call
According to a new research report from Grand View Research, the global smart building market is growing at a 25.3% CAGR. The rise of smart built space has attracted many companies to the s market. These include:
- IoT software companies who create the IoT software, such as Cisco and Oracle
- IoT services providers, who give an IoT customize it for you, and
- Smart apartment technology companies, who provide smart ready devices
Here are the best companies to call, depending on the nature and scale of your IoT apartment project.
Smartrent is an all-in-one smart apartment automation solution for enterprises. The company offers software and hardware that enables property managers and home builders to create smart built spaces by automating and managing everyday operational processes.
- Set up and manage contactless self-guided apartment tours
- Manage and optimize parking spaces
- Manage physical access control
- Optimize the use of power and lighting, and
- Streamline the tenant move-in and move-out process
- Centralized management dashboard
Smartrent can interoperate seamlessly with a range of devices including Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, smart thermostats, smart locks, contact and motion sensors, and the complete range of Ring devices including cameras, doorbells and floodlights.
The San Francisco based smart apartment access company offers a multidimensional access control technology with a built-in video intercom system. Swiftlane smart access control and video intercom system might be the way to go if you want to upgrade an existing apartment building into a smart one.
- Plug-n-play hardware with wireless and wired connectivity options
- Access control using card, mobile and facial recognition credentials
- Built-in HD video camera for two-way video calling between visitors and apartments
- Call multiple numbers in each apartment
- Call residents on their smartphones, landlines, and mobile numbers
- Remote door release and entry video monitoring
- Automated visitor and package management
- Centralized management through mobile app and browser
Swiftlane can work out of the box with most smart locks. It is a cloud-based system that comes with an intuitive API for easy integration with other building systems such as HVAC and Property Management Software.
Headquartered in Tampa, FL, iApartments offers an enterprise-grade platform designed to optimize efficiency and resident satisfaction . The platform can interconnect and automate access control, leak protection, and amenities at multifamily apartments and condo communities. It can retrofit with existing tech and turn ordinary apartments into smart apartments.
- Smart mobile-based access control
- Self guided apartment tours for potential tenants
- Use of AI and predictive analytics to enhance management and energy efficiencies
- Asset health and protection features such as water sensors and leak alerts
- Mobile apps for thermostat and access control
- Centralized browser-based management dashboard
iApartments integrates with Openpath Access Control, community WiFi, and a bunch of PMSs such as ResMan, Realpage and Yardi.
Latch has evolved from a full-building access control system to become a full-building operating system. It is an enterprise level system that allows you to automate access control, smart amenities, and property management functions across multiple apartment buildings.
- Manage users, doors and devices across multiple buildings with Mission Control
- Automated guest and delivery management through Latch Concierge
- IoT devices include Latch smart door locks, video intercom, and water sensors
- OpenKit integration software to create new experiences using Latch products
- Option to select card, mobile, smartwatch, or PIN based unlock
- 3D depiction of your building’s lighting, temperature and alerts
Latch that can be customized and integrated with a wide range of property management, security, and efficiency software using the OpenKit SDKs and APIs.
Livly is a Chicago based company that uses smart technology to elevate community experience at multifamily buildings. It is an all-in-one smart apartments solution that includes a custom resident mobile app, smart access control, smart apartment tech, event management, amenity management, packages, maintenance, and more.
- Resident mobile app with community feed, events, keyless entry, amenity bookings, and much more
- Concierge feature for automating resident communications
- AI powered tools simplify property managers’ workflow
- Easy centralized management through Lively Property Hub
- Ability to integrate digital signage and TV through Livly View
- Use Lively to predict lease renewals and offer rewards and incentives to your residents
Livly can integrate with a wide range of PMSs, access control systems, payment processors, package management software, utilities, rent management, property mapping, grocery, and other apps that enhance the resident experience.
Toward a Seamless Future
There were times when a building’s systems used to run on local hardwired networks only. You either had to lay extensive cabling right from the start of construction and tear down walls and plaster if you wanted to convert ordinary apartments into smart ones. Luckily, that has changed with the rise of cloud and IoT technology.
Today’s cloud-based smart apartment systems can operate wirelessly. They can be installed with minimal modification to a building’s existing wiring. In the coming years, building systems will be built smart-ready. They will be able to connect with IoT networks right out of the box. With the arrival of systems like Swiftlane, it’s already happening.
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