How technology is transforming strata life
From the way we shop to how we work, technology is transforming our lives. It’s allowing us information at the touch of a button anywhere, anytime. It’s also automating simple tasks like lighting, security and more.
So how is technology affecting strata communities and how can it be harnessed to improve the experience?
With the majority of strata complexes situated in city environments, security remains an ever-present requirement. Used effectively, technology can increase safety at entrances to buildings, car parks and more, providing a more appealing environment to residents.
Technology is providing more innovative ways to manage this security courtesy of RFID tags on entrance cards and the networking and mobile advancements of CCTV.
Now building managers or security professionals can tell who enters a building via the unique data available on tags, monitor what’s occurring in a building remotely courtesy of CCTV footage and receive security alerts directly to a mobile phone, to be quickly informed should something go awry.
Meanwhile, technology is also increasing the efficiency of buildings. Smart lighting allows for the automation of lights in public areas, temperature control automatically handles the heating and cooling, while big data permits the monitoring of a building’s activities and performance.
In an article in the Fifth Estate, Schneider Electric’s Cara Ryan noted: “By installing modern building management systems and big data analytics tools, there is the opportunity to cut energy costs dramatically, monitor ageing assets and be informed prior to making decisions that could affect a building’s bottom line.“
And this can range from automatic fault detection on equipment to smart energy dashboards that allow managers to monitor a building including facility usage, performance metrics and gain an insight into trends.
All these allow for the better management of a building, giving owners and building managers tools to identify small problems as they arise in a bid to ward off bigger issues.
But technology isn’t just about smart buildings, it’s about the residents within them, and again technology is set to play a critical role. This includes communication tools that allow for easier access to information. Services like StrataSpot’s Cloud based portal allow for virtual notice boards, targeted emails and the general provision of information.
That means day-to-day issues like maintenance requests, facility information or even body corporate voting can be handled with ease. Meanwhile, financials can be tracked and the entire history of a building, its assets and maintenance can be stored in one single, easily accessible space.
In the end all this is about a smarter community, where shared facilities are efficient, cost effective and easy to manage. Technology will not only deliver real cost savings but also the very real ability to improve the community environment.
While portals allow for easy booking of community facilities, further technology monitors its maintenance and usage, improving the downtime and providing cost savings for all residents of a community.
It also allows for a shared online space where residents can gather, post images of get-togethers or establish groups within their building to harness the community spirit in shared vegetable patches, babysitting clubs, mother’s groups or similar.
The final word
Leading strata expert Gary Bugden notes Australian strata bodies are only just beginning to harness the power of technology but ultimately as more and more communities embrace it, it will bring together the two core areas of strata living; handling both communication and building maintenance.
The upshot will be a more efficient, affordable and socially integrated community for all.