Customer Experience

How to design BTR schemes with future-proofed digital infrastructure 

Reliable digital connectivity is the bedrock of a resident’s lived experience and fundamental to the operational performance of a BTR asset

Future-proof your scheme by planning digital infrastructure early in your design

Digital infrastructure is too often overlooked by the residential sector. This leads to clients’ requirements not being met, or being second-guessed by design teams, and costly, late-stage compromises caused by value engineering.

The following highlights how digital infrastructure impacts resident experience and investment opportunity.  

There are three areas of focus: 

  1. Design Principles – Managing Project Risk
  2. Digital Connectivity Services – The Resident Experience 
  3. Digital Infrastructure – Managing Investment Risk  

Design Principles – Managing Project Risk 

An owner / developer must have a vision of the technology / digital infrastructure they want to deliver from the early RIBA [Royal Institute of British Architects] Stages onward for any Build to Rent development.

This design brief will play a critical role in engaging the wider design team, as the scheme’s plans are formalised.  

Taking ownership of these requirements enables the owner to identify any red flags, such as: 

  • A RIBA Stage 2 Report not having sufficiently detailed requirements for the digital infrastructure
  • The site cost plan having limited information on digital infrastructure in the MEP [mechanical, engineering and plumbing] section 

These are common signs that the digital infrastructure is not being considered to the fullest, posing a risk to the future-proofing of the project from a technological perspective.  

Digital Connectivity Services & The Resident Experience

There are six pillars on which to base a best-in- class residential experience. 

  1. Instant Connectivity: A resident must be able to connect to the internet from the moment they move into their new apartment. Delays to establishing connection have a negative impact on renter experience. 
  2. Reliability: Is the building vulnerable to network outages caused by damaged internet infrastructure? And, are provider down-times minimised?
  3. Speed: Can residents connect to high-speed internet and can they upgrade their internet package if desired?
  4. Connectivity EverywhereCan residents maintain an internet connection everywhere in their apartments and common areas? Can the same be said for a mobile signal? 
  5. Choice of Providers: Can a resident choose from more than one internet provider?
  6. Smart Technologies: As an owner, are you delivering smart technology (such as a building app) to improve the renter experience? Is a renter able to utilise their own smart technology (such as smart speakers) on their network?  


  1. Instant Connectivity
  2. Reliability
  3. Speed
  4. Connectivity Everywhere
  5. Choice of Providers
  6. Smart Technologies 


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