The residents, businesses, customers, and visitors who make communities socially vibrant and economically viable increasingly expect seamless integration between the built and digital environments. The intelligent systems that make this integration possible can also enhance operational efficiency, optimize resources, and lower a community’s carbon footprint. To keep their assets relevant and profitable in the long term, real estate owners need to approach operations and user experience in a way that anticipates future technological change. Investment trends in the real estate and construction industries reveal a growing awareness of these needs. Between 2013 and 2018, investors poured $18 billion into real estate and construction technology, compared with $9 billion over the previous five years. At the leading edge of this shift, WOWA collaborates with the technology-driven design firm IBI Group to help clients take proactive steps to future-proof their developments.
IBI’s flexible Smart Community platform enables intelligent, future-oriented systems to be woven into the fabric of built environments. Its application begins with research to understand the development’s goals, users, and site. A multidisciplinary team of experts uses powerful principles to assess technology options, then prioritizes the measures that would meet the client’s aims and bring the greatest benefit to core users. IBI provides advisory services throughout the development process and works with clients to design, implement, and operate the systems they recommend. In collaboration with WOWA, one of the first iterations of the Smart Community program is an 8-million-square-foot mixed-use development in the heart of Silicon Valley. Internet of things technologies, public infrastructure connectivity, distributed intelligence, cloud computing solutions, and digital services combine with architectural innovation to enhance community well-being in a place that is compelling, connected, efficient, and resilient.
With our expertise in intelligent systems and forward-thinking design, WOWA was ideally positioned to affiliate with IBI and bring the possibilities of the Smart Community platform to the owner of this $4 billion real estate investment in Silicon Valley. We provided the business case for the real estate developer and defined a digital strategy that will preserve the property’s value in a changing technological landscape. At its core is a flexible framework designed to adopt future technologies and advance the long-term interests of the community and the property owner. The roadmap for this development coordinates mobility, utility management, and site efficiency to serve businesses, residents, visitors, and operations and maintenance staff. It supports a healthy, active, and engaged community and ambitious standards for environmental stewardship—values that define the development’s identity and enhance the quality of life that it sustains.