Living-as-a-Service and Smart Building Automation for apartments and Building Owners
Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company today announced that Homebase, a smart building automation company for multi-family properties and developer of the only hubless smart building solution, is relying on an Aruba ESP-based network to deliver smart living experiences to apartment residents and property owners.
With Aruba ESP as its foundation, Homebase can increase value and reduce costs for building owners while providing residents with a modern, highly connected, and automated living experience.
To enable its unique approach to smart building automation, Homebase sought an infrastructure solution that was reliable, secure, and cost-effective, but could also scale to meet the company’s vision. Inherent in Homebase’s approach is the idea that Wi-Fi is the fifth utility and can be used to bring a multitude of technologies, capabilities and services together. With the Aruba ESP infrastructure and the Homebase mobile app, residents can manage their payments, lodge maintenance requests, and control smart devices such as smart locks, thermostats, lighting and appliances, while building owners can streamline their property management tasks.
“At least one third of America has ‘cut the cord’ and turned to the Internet for access to everything, so making the Internet that fifth utility that can connect multiple services and technologies in a building makes sense for residents, property managers and building owners,” said Blake Miller, Founder and CEO of Homebase.
To bring its vision to life, Homebase deployed Aruba access points including Wi-Fi 6 APs, Aruba access switches, and Aruba Central for management. The network implementation allows residents to choose different levels of connectivity, based on their needs. Using the Homebase app, residents can access everything in their unit such as locks, thermostats, lighting, and appliances, as well as gaming and mobile devices through a single connection. For building managers, access control and security cameras in the common areas and community spaces such as gyms, pools and movie facilities, can all be connected and managed via the network and the app.
Said Miller, “Some of our newer buildings even have a wine dispenser connected to the network that allows residents to pour a glass of wine and have it added to their account. The goal is to have as much automation as possible to create these smart living spaces and truly enable what we call ‘living as-a-service’.”
This “living as-a-service” vision relies heavily upon high-speed, reliable network access that’s always on, allowing residents to move in, connect, and manage everything from their utilities to their washer and dryer, as well as access a wealth of services, potentially, such as grocery delivery, house cleaning and even dog walkers from the app.
For building owners and property managers, the combination of the underlying Aruba ESP network and the Homebase app automates repetitive tasks like move-ins/move-outs, and because the network is capturing data constantly, enables a more efficient maintenance model. For example, maintenance can see that a thermostat has run for a certain number of hours, requiring an air filter change, and can automatically order the filter, have it shipped to the appropriate unit, and notify the resident, without the typical time-consuming, manual process. This automated style of maintenance can also prevent catastrophic incidents: knowing that a lint filter in a dryer needs to be cleaned, for example, can prevent a potential fire. In addition, with the Homebase model, owners don’t need to rely on traditional cabling for every unit, which can be costly.
“We’re providing a true digital transformation for building owners, giving them total control of their building. They can operate more units with their existing team, and since the network enables a myriad of services, they can increase their recurring revenues,” Miller noted.
Among the latest properties to benefit from Homebase’s solution are the Flashcube apartments in downtown Kansas City, Missouri – housed in a new building outfitted with smart technology from inception – and the 909 Walnut building, also in Kansas City, one of the tallest buildings in Missouri built in 1931 that was retrofitted for smart living. Both buildings exemplify the kind of transformation that Homebase can enable with its Aruba ESP network.
Added Miller, “Having the right foundation allows us to take our vision from concept to reality. The ultimate goal is to enable the building to run itself, allowing staff to address more of what the residents and community need, rather than spending time on menial facility management tasks. With Aruba’s help, we believe we’re well on our way.”