The Future of Multifamily Housing and the Associated Security Challenges
Multifamily housing in urban environments provides social, economic, and environmental benefits to both individual residents and cities as a whole. Kicked into overdrive after the 2008 financial crisis, demand for multifamily housing has since continued to rise and remains strong today. Generations Y and Z are the youngest urbanized group of adults and these young professionals are fueling much of the demand for compact living in city centers. Though the younger generations are the ones driving the changes, the result is expected to be more secure, convenient living for everyone.
With increased density comes unique challenges. It’s crucial that as we densify, homes remain safe, comfortable, and energy-efficient. Tech-savvy Millennials and Gen Z have increased the demand for technological advances in home automation and smart-living solutions, which can help ease the transition to high-density living. The value of the global demand for home automation is forecast to increase from 48 billion USD in 2018 to 102 billion USD by 2025.
In single-family as well as multifamily dwellings, safety and security are always imperative, but it becomes more challenging to ensure in a large building with many people coming and going at any time. Consumer preferences have driven the ability to connect safety and security with other aspects of daily living like entertainment, lighting, and HVAC in a central hub. A centralized digital solution currently available is an app which can function as a cloud-based access control system potentially pared with a solutions aggregator of other ‘devices’ such as thermostats, appliances and leak detectors.
Managing access to the building itself is another unique challenge and can also be done digitally, through the same cloud-based access control systems. In a high-traffic building like today’s multifamily communities, which see frequent visits from delivery personnel and other services, in addition to residents and guests, residents can use the app to provide a digital key to authorize entries and then revoke access as needed.
Technology can be isolating, but when implemented well, it can actually be used to build social ties. In this case, a community-based app for a large multifamily complex can help residents get to know their neighbors and stay up-to-date with community news and happenings. Knowing your neighbors is a vital step towards creating a safe community and making important social connections that improve mental well-being. Especially in today’s context, the ability to still make those connections and participate in the community digitally is hugely beneficial to residents.
Safety and security shouldn’t stop outside your door, however. The same automation capabilities (in addition to technologies like face recognition) can be applied to secure building entries or even to street lighting. Studies show that even the visual presence of secure locks and entrance systems can discourage intruders, and dependable doors themselves are fundamental to building security. Once outside, a new type of energy-efficient street light utilizes smart sensors to switch on or off based on pedestrian movement.
The technological advancements of recent years have allowed for the creation of cohesive solutions for multifamily living today and into the future. Thanks to smart-home innovations, today’s multifamily residents have all the benefits of urban living without sacrificing comfort, efficiency, or security.