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Moda Living partners with Utopi for smart Build to Rent technology

Build to Rent (BTR) developer Moda Living has struck a UK-wide partnership with technology provider Utopi to build a complete digital infrastructure and optimise smart building technology across Moda’s entire development portfolio.

This collaboration – which sees Moda as the first vertically integrated, tech-enabled Build to Rent company – will improve building operations and the sustainability of all Moda Living neighbourhoods.

Utopi’s digital infrastructure blueprint designs will utilise a combination of technologies to automate building management.

Its Internet of Things (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.

What’s more, 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.

Oscar Brooks, director at Moda, says 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,” he adds. “Moda is a vertically integrated housing brand, and Utopi is the cornerstone supplier for our new Build to Rent operating system.”

Utopi’s live nature of data capture and instant alerts will ensure that any maintenance and utility issues are resolved efficiently or prevented entirely. A defective air-conditioning unit or contaminated tap, for instance, would be identified at a much earlier stage thanks to Utopia’s remote dashboard monitor displays.

Some systems employ machine learning to automatically adjust and redefine maintenance plans.

“Moda is the biggest and fastest-growing purpose-built BTR 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,” Jonathan Burridge, chief executive officer at Utopi, comments.

“By using tech to change the way buildings are designed, we create safer spaces and better places to live. We are always looking ahead at Moda’s next development to they continue to lead the way in technological advancements in the BTR space.”

Utopi’s building management system will add to the lifespan of the costly appliances it serves, benefitting both Moda and the residents. It will also contribute, in the long run, to the sustainability of every Moda development and its portfolio performance.

In response to Covid-19, the technology will enable Moda to maximise the safety and health of its residents by facilitating social distancing, enforcing cleaning regimes and managing the ongoing operation of the building safely.

Burridge adds: “We support Moda Living’s mission to become the greenest BTR 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, whilst saving residents and owners money, and greatly enhancing the living experience.”

Moda residents already use the MyModa app, allowing them to book amenities and engage with the building management team. With the help of Utopi, IoT enabled devices will be controlled and linked via the mobile app to provide a convenient, user-friendly experience and delivering a smart, integrated living experience.

Moreover, 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.

Lora Brill, associate at JLL, says: “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.”

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