Build-to-rent housing reimagined with mobile keys


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Becorp is a disruptive force in Barcelona’s domestic rental housing market. At a growing portfolio of multi-home complexes, they offer contemporary apartments with inclusive onsite resident services such as concierge, swimming pool, gym and co-working. Having used mechanical lock-and-key security in past projects, Becorp is aware of its drawbacks in both cost and management time.

For a planned new build-to-rent development in the city, they sought a modern electronic alternative. A keyless solution would save property management time, which is often spent handling hundreds of physical keys. The burden on staff is especially great when properties are newly occupied or vacated, a regular occurrence in large build-to-rent complexes.

They targeted a wireless solution to combine greater control with cost efficiency; a range of adaptable devices to secure multiple door types, including fire doors; and modern security to project an appealing, dynamic image for Becorp housing.

Spain’s first residences with all-wireless access control and mobile keys

With over 1,000 individual homes at their new build-to-rent development, Becorp knew mechanical security would create a huge workload. Each apartment requires five keys per cylinder — many thousands in total. Rental turnover is often high. This means regular cylinder and key changes, eating up even more management time and resources.

Their chosen solution — SMARTair Wireless Online with mobile keys managed by the Openowapp — incorporates around 3,000 battery-powered Escutcheons, 200 Knob Cylinders and 125 Wall Readers. Just under 400 Communications HUBs communicate between doors and the software system in real time. With online system management, security staff can check the live status of any access point, open doors remotely or lockdown in case of an emergency.

Residents use secure mobile keys in their own Openow smartphone app, instead of physical keys. The app also enables easy locking by deadbolt projection: After presenting their phone, a resident simply moves the handle upwards to lock a door securely.

Facilities staff stay in control by using the Openow app for credential management: Virtual keys can be created, sent and cancelled from anywhere, with no metal keys to administer. No locks need to be changed when someone loses a credential.

“Physical key management for any large development puts severe pressure on operational costs,” says Becorp’s Xavier Casals. “Choosing SMARTair wireless locks and mobile management via Openow helps us to minimise them.”

Battery power for improved energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is another important ethos behind Becorp’s new development. Because SMARTair locks are wireless and battery powered, they consume much less power than equivalent wired locking — supporting efforts to promote more sustainable domestic living.

Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are available for many SMARTair devices: These detailed life-cycle audits help customers like Becorp to make informed choices about their footprint during the construction and specification of a building.

At Becorp’s new Barcelona development, SMARTair and Openow ensure cost, time and energy efficiency all work hand in hand.

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