TecHomeX recently wrapped a three-day event that brought together professionals from all corners of the smart home industry.
Among the varied builder types participating, multifamily gurus represented a major part of this gathering. And those eager to learn about the growing multifamily industry were not disappointed.
There were many key takeaways related to multifamily that attendees could bring back to their own businesses. In the “Up and At ‘Em Breakfast,” Dennis McGill from Zelman & Associates spoke about how important Millennials are to the growing housing industry and how this demographic begins in the multifamily spectrum.
“Millennials want to be close to the action, downtown and in the city,” says McGill, referring to the illustrious appeal of city apartments and community living to the younger generation of Millennials and how developers can capitalize on these statistics.
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This community mindset was also approached in the education session, “Tech in Multifamily Shared & Public Spaces,” led by Lee Odess, vice president of customer solutions at UniKey Technologies, and Stephanie Fuhrman, managing director of technology services at Greystar.
Odess discussed the appeal of security, access control and video in shared multifamily spaces and how developers can use these technologies to better market their communities to residents.
And while residents certainly want to feel safe, they also want to have fun, especially the aforementioned Millennial generation. Fuhrman delineated the trends in this market such as video/game rooms, outdoor living spaces with LED lighting fixtures and high-resolution audio, as well as charging stations for the growing appeal of electric vehicles.
On the conservation side of things, Joe Piccirilli, CEO of Rosewater Energy, was an enthusiastic supporter of energy and water conservation in multifamily housing. He used his Rosewater Energy HUB as a shining example of how renewable integration, power storage, power conditioning and surge protection could all be combined to create a truly energy efficient multifamily community.
This mindset presents benefits to both multifamily owners and tenants. For the former, conservation creates zero maintenance costs and greater data monitoring and control. For tenants, these practices can provide them with up to a 50 percent reduction on their energy bills.
However important community and conservation are in multifamily, it all begins with infrastructure. Especially when it comes to technology and connectivity.
“It’s hard to predict the technology of tomorrow, but it’s important to build the infrastructure today,” says Jimi Gonzalez, vice president of business development at AirHome.
Gonzalez—along with Josh Erosky, director of building technology for UDR; Henry Clifford, president of Livewire; and J.B. Fowler, VP of business development at Luxul—outlined the increasing importance of infrastructure when building the connected communities of multifamily housing.
“You need to put technology conversations at the forefront of all project communication,” Clifford told nearly 30 attendees eager to learn in the session, “Infrastructure for the Connected Multifamily Home.”
Gonzalez seconded this mindset, stating that developers, integrators and contractors alike need to be proactive in their conversations about technology. And those talks must happen early on in the process to ensure the highest quality.
“Devices will be on the home network. Music and movies will be streaming. More people will be working from home,” says Gonzalez. “We need to use what we know, so we can develop for what we don’t yet know.”