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Ten York: Digital Living in the Smart Community

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The discussion around smart and connected buildings is anything but new; there are smart building initiatives from back in the late '80s that many people can share. A condominium is now on the market that delivers on a vision from more than a decade ago.

Ten York by Tridel will be taking occupancy in May of this year and it is the most advanced condo community in North America. There are numerous technologies being deployed at Ten York, all with the intention of simplifying and enhancing the living experience. The starting point of any smart building is good communications. This residential community has an in-building DAS to ensure cellular coverage and a commercial grade network with a properly designed WiFi experience, powered by commercial grade dedicated fiber. This design goes a step beyond the standard practices of most developers, where WiFi is an afterthought and an entire community is typically powered by a standard residential connection.

The heart of every intelligent building is the network and Ten York has a Cisco Meraki network with dual core switches supporting layer two Power over Ethernet (PoE) switches throughout. Multiple services have been converged over this network and PoE had a big influence on the shift in design. It deploys a central UPS through the backup generator to keep all equipment operating in the event of a power failure. It is a positive shift in design that will improve the resiliency of the community and enable the integration of more sensors and devices in the future.

Changing the living experience for the resident

The community features the SMARTONE platform powered by Commax out of Korea. Current smart home systems deployed in North America focus on individual homes and not a collection of smart homes connected as a smart community. This platform rides on top of the central network and integrates services such as automated locker solutions, parking management systems, and elevator controllers. It is a giant video phone system and a communication platform that allows residents to view cameras throughout the site, receive visitor calls on their suite wall pad and mobile phone, and communicate with the concierge. The system architecture (depicted below) enables both services that are shared, and individual services and features for each home.

The resident experience in the home is also completely different compared to older 'smart' models. Each home is equipped with a digital wall pad that replaces the old style security pad. A resident can receive and manage visitors from this screen, control energy, manage suite security, receive messages, and view designated cameras throughout the community. The wall pad is a hub that speaks many languages, such as Zigbee, Z-wave and Bluetooth. It is a flexible device that can integrate any sensor or device from any manufacturer. At CES, there was a demonstration where the wall pad integrated to a Samsung stove, LG refrigerator, Electrolux air conditioner, Nest thermostat and a wireless leak detector. This flexibility allows the solution to continue to grow, and to deliver the resident new and enhanced services in the future.

The wall pad is complemented by a mobile experience on both Android and iOS, giving the residents full functionality and control of their home from anywhere in the world.

Residents can view and set alarms, receive lobby calls, control the thermostats on their fan coil units, receive notices, view cameras throughout their community and be actively notified of access to their home.

The entrance to the home is controlled by an advanced digital door lock that is integrated into the system. The lock is keyless - using master credentials rather than keys - so there is never a need to rekey a building. The lock can be opened using BLE from your phone, digital codes, or FOBs. FOBs can be created to open every door or a specified collection of suites. During the construction process, the site teams were creating FOB groups to control the Trades' access to specific floors. The lock is fully integrated with the system, delivering access logs to both the community manager and the resident. The push/pull design makes access easy, so the door can just be pushed open with your hip when you have groceries in hand, for example.

Another unique feature of the system is the lobby entrance phone, which is very different than the large pedestals typically deployed in North American communities. These devices are more compact and easier to integrate into the physical structure of the building and offer the full functionality of larger units. There are eight installed at Ten York, giving more control to the residents and reducing the load on the concierge, as these devices are replacing the plain intercoms that are only managed by the concierge.

Another key component of the system is the concierge phone. The system can operate with as many or as few as desired. This phone gives the concierge full control of the building with the ability to communicate with residents, monitor and manage alarms, view and access logs, and view cameras. These phones can be placed in the building or managed offsite, delivering built-in virtual concierge functionality.

What is next?

Ten York is just the start of a platform that will integrate more devices, such as smoke detectors and leak sensors. The technology, combined with the support of various research groups at different academic institutions will continue to deliver on the vision of security, sustainability, and convenience – Living Simplified!

Ted Maulucci, President, SmartONE Solutions
Ted Maulucci is the President of SmartONE Solutions, a company committed to advancing the digital living experience in communities. He assumed the role of President at SmartONE after a 26 year career as the Chief Information Officer of a leading Toronto based multi-family real estate developer. He was recognized as the Private Sector Canadian CIO of the Year in 2016 for his achievements in connected buildings.

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