Build to Rent developer and operator Moda Living has announced a partnership with technology provider Utopi. The partnership will see the build of a complete digital infrastructure, optimising smart building technology across Moda’s development portfolio. The move will position Moda as the first truly vertically integrated, tech-enabled Build to Rent company – and is expected to set a precedence for other players in the industry.
The collaboration will improve building operations and the sustainability of all Moda’s neighbourhoods – by identifying problems with energy consumption, faulty maintenance equipment and systems among others – ahead of time.
“The technological advancements of IoT in real estate will forever change how we interact with the structures in which we live and work. We need to ensure that Moda is truly tech-enabled – to really understand the behaviour of our residents and help us build the best homes of the future. Moda is a vertically integrated housing brand, and Utopi is the cornerstone supplier for our new Build to Rent operating system.”Oscar Brooks, Director, Moda
How smart building technology powered software works
Utopi’s digital infrastructure blueprint designs will use a combination of technologies to automate building management. Its IoT multi-sensor will be installed throughout Moda’s residential communities and will measure humidity, temperature, CO2, light, noise, motion and occupancy, creating a wellness score. The sensors will automatically respond to adjust the environment to exercise real-time control of air-conditioning, security and lighting systems, optimising the space for residents and saving money on energy costs.
The main benefit of Utopi’s technology is the live nature of data capture. Instant alerts will ensure that maintenance and utility issues are resolved efficiently or prevented entirely. A defective air-conditioning unit or contaminated tap is usually only detected at the next routine service visit. But with remote dashboard monitoring displays, real-time data allows management to identify issues at an earlier stage, with some systems employing machine learning to automatically adjust and redefine maintenance plans.
“Moda is the biggest and fastest-growing purpose-built Build to Rent company in the UK and our brief was to keep them at the cutting edge by helping deliver innovative smart building technology for their portfolio. By using tech to change the way buildings are designed, we create safer spaces and better places to live. We’re always looking ahead at Moda’s next development as they continue to lead the way in technological advancements in the Build to Rent space.
“We support their mission to become the greenest Build to Rent in the country, and IoT and data analytics has a leading role to play in a net zero carbon world, helping reduce or avoid consumption, while saving residents and owners money, and greatly enhancing the living experience.”Jonathan Burridge CEO, Utopi
Benefits to health and safety
In response to Covid-19, the technology will enable Moda to maximise the safety and health of their residents by facilitating social distancing, informing cleaning regimes and managing the ongoing operation of the building safely, using real-time data through the platform.
Utopi’s building management system will add to the lifespan of the costly appliances they serve, near eliminating disruptive maintenance work – which will benefit Moda and the experience of its residents. In the long run, it will also contribute to the sustainability of Moda’s developments and its portfolio performance.
Moda residents already use the MyModa App, allowing them to book amenities and engage with the building management team. Utopi’s IoT enabled devices will be controlled and linked via Moda’s mobile app – which will provide a convenient, user-friendly experience, and deliver a smart, integrated living experience.
The data generated will allow Moda to better understand its residents and pre-empt their long-term lifestyle needs, even if that means repurposing areas of a building to complement residents evolving needs.
“The use of IoT technology is an innovative step for Moda to advance its market-leading strategy in promoting a happier and healthier home environment.
“It will enable Moda to deliver optimal air quality, light and temperature – all essential for residents’ wellbeing – with great agility as well as further optimising their portfolio with accurate time-based data. Smart sensors that monitor building performance will help facilities managers to keep Moda neighbourhoods in good working order and promote a better quality of life.”Lora Brill, Associate, JLL