Elauwit wins Student Housing Business Innovator Award

Along with our partners at EdR, Elauwit took home an Innovator Award at last week's Student Housing Business Interface Conference for Best Vendor/University Solution.

Pictured from left to right: Taylor Jones, CTO, Robert Grosz, CRO, Barry Rubens, CEO, Dan McDonough, Chairman

Pictured from left to right: Taylor Jones, CTO, Robert Grosz, CRO, Barry Rubens, CEO, Dan McDonough, Chairman

The award, which recognizes innovation in a Student Housing project, was for our work at Bowles Hall at the University of California at Berkeley.

The fully-restored Bowles Hall is now the University of California Berkeley’s premiere undergraduate residence, offering completely renovated residential suites, full in-house dining facilities, a large library, individual and dedicated study/seminar rooms, a main lounge, a game room, ubiquitous high-speed WiFi, plus in-residence faculty and graduate student advisors. 

Bowles Hall has undergone many changes over the years. The building was the first residence hall on campus, dedicated in 1929, and was California's first state-owned residence hall. The Hall displays appearance of a medieval castle, with a stone exterior and a wood entryway. Although a University-operated residence hall, its male-only tradition, classic facade, partitioned four-man rooms, and community facilities gave it a social fraternity atmosphere.

Bowles Hall at the University of California at Berkeley.

Bowles Hall at the University of California at Berkeley.

For some time, the building continued as an all-men's residence, even housing military students during World War II. It became a historical landmark, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places as a prime example of the style of architecture called 'Collegiate Gothic'. Now, after many years of disrepair, it has been fully restored and refurnished for its renewal as a residential college. Following a $45 million renovation, the Bowles Hall Residential College re-opened for the 2016-17 academic year with 116 units and 186 beds. It is a robust, immersive experience where students excel in their academic pursuits, prepare for their post-graduate careers, and create lifelong friendships with their Bowles Hall companions.

Bowles Hall Residential College is privately-owned and -operated by the alumni-initiated Bowles Hall Foundation. It was renovated at no cost to UC Berkeley or California taxpayers.

Elauwit was brought into the project from the start of the renovation concept to provide ongoing expertise and advice from the technology viewpoint. We then joined in the reconstruction project, which commenced in January, 2016, for the deployment of top-quality and future-proof technology solutions. Elauwit worked hand-in-hand with the historic renovation experts, architects and project managers in order to complete infrastructure improvements that included fiber and cable extended throughout the property. The project was timely completed for a grand reopening in August, 2016.

The renovation and installation process was an elaborate and intricate one due to the historic nature of the site, its status as an historical landmark, and the university community’s fondness for the facility.

The unique need at Bowles Hall was for a one-stop technology vendor who could deliver a state-of-the-art system, including all low voltage installation needs, while doing so with a special appreciation and consideration for the character of the property. Elauwit was able to do so with the skill expected, and with attention to detail and project communication required for success.

The property-wide Ethernet, WiFi and video services provided by Elauwit specifically met the project needs. As the interior of the structure was gutted, and solid concrete walls exposed, Elauwit deployed fiber optics to every floor, as well as cabling and wireless access points into every unit in order to provide an unparalleled experience for residents. The services provided transformed an antiquated, patched-together network for intermittent and sporadic Internet into a seamless, high-speed, fully operational educational and entertainment resident network.

Finally, Elauwit was able to save the operator 30% over the budgeted cost for the technology installation and components. The initial standards issued seemed inadequate to properly serve the residents, while at the same time required an outdated install procedure that was costly and unnecessary. Utilizing the right components and a managed process for installation along with other sub-contractors, the technology cost to the project dropped by 30% by using Elauwit’s expertise and skillset.

To see a list of the rest of this years Innovator Award winners, click here

Lindsey Johns