Student Housing Business

SEP-OCT 2018

Student Housing Business is the voice of the student housing industry.

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BANDWIDTH & CONNECTIVITY September/October 2018 StudentHousingBusiness.com 70 promising." The Preiss Company is cur- rently in discussions with several vendors and ISPs about deploy- ing and trialing these services. The company expects to be piloting these technologies at a property by the end of 2018. Like Preiss, Greystar prizes smart technology that specifically addresses water issues. In April 2018, EdR (now part of Greystar) completed a water project at 109 Tower, a 542-bed property adja- cent to Florida International Uni- versity in Miami. EdR replaced all the working parts of every toilet with a newly designed system that conserves water and shuts itself off if there is a leak. "The capital expenditure was approximately $75,000 with an anticipated return on investment of 13 months, which would have been great," says Casey of Grey- star. "The first month we saved over 750,000 gallons of water com- pared to the previous year. Since the project was completed in April, we've saved over five million gal- lons of water year over year. We've continued to see that kind of sav- ings, and we hit our ROI in three months. What a great story to tell. We're reducing expenses and we're conserving water." Containing Costs Most student properties that are already on a managed network typically shouldn't expect to incur additional cost to add IoT fea- tures. According to Daniel Myers, president of Dojo Networks, if a building is already running on a managed network, general IoT — minus the costs of sensors, switches, outlets, temperature control products, etc. — will not cost much more. "Adding different types of building sensors and security products, for example, through- out the property will not cost more because the network is there — unless there are some building areas such as maintenance rooms that might need an access point that typically wouldn't have been installed," he says. "Our systems are built to support the infrastruc- ture of what you want to install and handle all of the IoT devic- es. We provide at least three seg- mented networks and can provide more if the owner needs those." Preiss, whose properties all run on a managed network, says a typical ballpark cost for a strong network in a 600-bed garden style project costs about $250,000. "We have been successful charging a small technology fee back to the students," she says. "What I tell owners is if you really want to amenitize your property, then you can think about it as either property savings as a way of increasing net operat- ing income — such as saving on the electric bill — or cost shift- ing to the resident," says Richard Holtz, CEO of InfiniSys "If you look at it from the side of net operating income, electronic locks, thermostats and leak detec- tion have a defined payback." According to Scott Buehrle, vice president of MDU sales for Single Digits, smart apartment deploy- ment is not cost-prohibitive for new builds and retrofits. "Start-up costs will vary based on options chosen, but for the most tradi- tional deployments, consisting of front door locks, thermostats, lighting control and Amazon Alexa integration, costs can be as low as 50 cents per square foot." Buehrle says customers reap operational rewards on these investments by remotely solv- ing issues, such as lock-outs, and

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