IT Infrastructure: Esssential Living’s Dressage Court

Essential Living design, construct and operate residential properties for the premium, rental market.  They create vibrant developments that prioritise quality and harness a sense of community by creating unique social spaces; exercise areas, study areas, lounges, games rooms and chill-out areas as well as shared outdoor spaces.

Providing high-speed internet access, including carefully designed WiFi coverage and a high quality branded portal page, is considered a given in this market – residents won’t settle for anything less.

Essential Living’s brand and their developments demand an IT infrastructure which reflects the organisation’s forward-thinking attitude and values. They, and us, advocate moving away from the traditional siloed approach to building systems (WiFi, IP Telephony, CCTV, Door Access etc.) and instead to integrate many of these systems into a single building network.  This saves duplication of cost both during construction and ongoing, while creating an IT Infrastructure ready to respond to technology changes throughout the lifespan of the building.

Curve IT are thrilled to be working with Essential Living on their programme of developments.  The flag-ship new-build Dressage Court, located in Bethnal Green, London, opened last month (May 2017).  Read on to find out how we worked with them to deliver the IT infrastructure required to support their residents – to the timescales, budget and quality standards they required.

Essential Living’s IT Strategy

  • The IT infrastructure to reflect the Essential Living brand values – professional service, high quality, convenience, reliability and longevity.
  • To adopt a visionary approach to IT infrastructure that encompasses multiple building management services.
  • To deliver high-speed, building-wide, reliable and secure network connectivity to residents and the Essential Living Operational Management team.  Residents should connect quickly and easily to their own network wherever they are in the property.
  • To implement a consistent ‘brand’ IT strategy across their programme of developments.

Project Management

  • Essential Living use the RIBA Plan of Work* methodology throughout their design and construction process. The RIBA Plan of Work 2013 (devised by the Royal Institute of British Architects) organises the process of briefing, designing, constructing, maintaining, operating and using building projects into a number of key stages. It details the tasks and outputs required at each stage which may vary or overlap to suit specific project requirements.
  • We worked to these RIBA stages during the project, ensuring our deliverables were fully aligned with those of the client.

Planning

  • Our team of consultants reviewed the client brief, architectural drawings, M&E and service proposals. Fully immersing ourselves in the build enabled us to highlight risks and constraints to IT delivery.
  • We collaborated with architects, contractors and the Operational Management team to ensure IT requirements across all areas would be delivered.
  • We conducted a mobile scan at the Dressage Court site, reporting on reception from the main Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).
  • We helped advise on the selection of suitable connectivity into the building, facilitating the installation of the circuit in parallel with construction.

Design

  • Our consultants architected a building network designed to deliver upon Essential Living’s objectives.
  • We included security by design, including hardware and software that protects the client’s and the resident’s data.
  • We considered resilience within the design and liaised with the M&E team to identify the right strategy to provide backup in the event of power failure.
  • A pre-build WiFi survey was completed using CAD architectural drawings and the latest technology. This enabled us to create a virtual model of the planned network, ensuring WiFi access points were placed efficiently to both maximise coverage, reduce ‘black spots’ and minimise costs.
  • We helped design the main comms room for the building; we provided detailed drawings to ensure equipment fitted properly; that suitable power was provided; and we facilitated connectivity into the building.
  • Our team identified enterprise grade equipment in line with the client’s budget securing a great feature set and good warranty level.

Delivery

  • We supplied both hardware and software required to deliver the IT Infrastructure including data cabinets, power distribution units, networking equipment, server equipment, patch cables etc. Our purchasing power ensures a competitive price point.
  • Our team installed and configured the building communications room*, coordinating the installation of the leased line and ensuring connectivity for ‘live date’.
  • We installed and configured WiFi access points and networking equipment in the residents’ apartments and communal areas, working in collaboration with the M&E contractors and cablers.
  • We fully tested installation both on-site and off-site using our pro-active managed service.
  • A post build WiFi survey was completed, providing confirmation of the coverage our design delivers.
  • We supported the Operations Management team in ensuring that residents could use the system from day one.
  • Dressage Court is now being supported by the Curve IT Support Helpdesk through a managed serviced contract. This enables us to support the Operational Management team and manage the network proactively through our monitoring and alerting system.
*Our team hold valid CSCS cards and have completed the CITB Site Supervisors’ Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS)

Benefits

  • Residents received high-speed internet access with great WiFi coverage and a high quality branded portal page, both in their apartment and throughout the building, from the day they moved in.
  • Our early involvement in the planning stage saved considerable capital expenditure later in the build.  Advising on a better model for IT Infrastructure helped eliminate duplication of cost.
  • Our knowledge of the build and other service requirements enabled us to identify risks and constraints to delivery of an integrated network.
  • Our WiFi design practice ensures optimal wireless network design typically delivering better connectivity and significant cost savings by avoiding over-scoping on hardware.
  • Planning from the outset of construction also ensures time efficiencies within the building schedule for the technological install.  We dovetail our installation into the other service installation schedules.

“With WiFi and broadband now being recognised as the 4th utility and Essential Living’s commitment to provide its residents with the very best connectivity and customer service, we have found that the early involvement of Curve IT at the construction design stages has already proved to be hugely beneficial. Potential obstacles have been overcome, saving us time and money further down the line. Simon and Dominic have aligned themselves with us to ensure our residents expectations around technical services are exceeded within our built to rent portfolio.”

Ian Merrick, Operations Director | Essential Living

Download a copy Curve IT Case Study: Essential Living Dressage Court

To talk to one of our expert IT consultants regarding our WiFi design practice and IT infrastructure for your construction or development project please call 01273 806220.

Essential Living Dressage Court

Essential Living Dressage Court

Dressage Court Essential Living