Moda Utopi AG IPad
Sensors produce data summed up in a wellness score

Moda Living signs with IoT partner Utopi for smart BTR

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Paul Unger

The build-to-rent developer, operator and owner has announced a partnership with technology provider Utopi to build a complete digital infrastructure and optimise smart building technology across its development portfolio.

Moda said it intends to become the “first truly vertically integrated, tech-enabled BTR company” and the move would “set a precedent for other players in the space.”

Utopi will use internet of things sensors to try and automate building management. Sensors will be installed throughout Moda’s residential buildings to 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 any 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. However, with remote dashboard monitoring displays, real-time data allows management to identify issues at a much earlier stage, with some systems employing machine learning to automatically adjust and redefine maintenance plans.

Oscar Brooks, director of Moda, commented: “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’s aim is that Utopi’s building management system will add to the lifespan of the costly appliances they serve, nearly eliminating disruptive maintenance work, benefitting both the operator and residents.

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, providing a convenient, user-friendly experience, and delivering 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. Moda  has £850m of projects under construction, with more expected to start on site during 2020 – the first phase of its £2.5bn pipeline of over 7,500 rent-only homes.

Utopi’s tech will first be deployed in Moda’s 35-storey, 466-unit Angel Gardens in Manchester.

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