Award-winning MDU telecom: The House at Cornell Tech

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Elauwit was awarded an Innovator Award at this week's Student Housing Business Interface conference for it's work in assisting in the design and implementation of wireless Internet services at The House, the world's largest passive house: a 270-foot-tall, 352-unit residence at Cornell University’s tech campus on Roosevelt Island.

Passive House Standards means that it is estimated to use 60-70 percent less energy than similar buildings built to code standards. It is built to the highest sustainability standards and is projected to save 882 tons of CO2 per year, equal to planting 5,300 new trees.

What does this have to do with Wi-Fi deployment? A technologically advanced building structure that houses technical graduate students must also have state-of-the-art technology, including Wi-Fi that can support all of today’s applications while overcoming construction infrastructure designed to seal the building from unwanted environmental influences.

There were two primary challenges with The House Wi-Fi deployment. One was the need for a high performance, reliable Wi-Fi network that can support the needs of a large number of technology graduate students with a great number of devices running bandwidth-intensive applications. The second challenge was ubiquitous coverage throughout the entire building. Elauwit entered the project during the cabling process so changes to the existing cabling plan required ingenuity and careful planning. 

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“The deployment of Wi-Fi access points was somewhat dependent on the cabling, which was not always in the ideal location for a managed network system,” explained Taylor Jones, Elauwit CTO. “This required a Wi-Fi design and equipment solution that was customized to overcome the building design and construction techniques while not having the advantage of being able to place Wi-Fi access points in the ideal locations.” 

In the end, Elauwit designed and installed a “BeamFlex+” antenna system, finding it the best technology to penetrate the walls and other obstacles that existed due to the Passive House Standards. Elauwit engaged expert support from Ruckus Wireless, an equipment partner.

The Wi-Fi network is providing residents of the building with all the bandwidth they need to support the applications they want, both video and voice. In the months since The House opened, the network has seen significant use including 1,000 devices connecting daily (with the majority being wireless devices). In addition, 800 users have logged into the guest network, and overall, the network is currently passing 2TB of traffic daily. 

“Elauwit provides a Wi-Fi network that delivers ubiquitous coverage throughout the building and industry-leading products to provide students and faculty with the performance needed for all their Internet and entertainment needs,” Jones said.

"Elauwit is honored to be recognized for our work at Cornell. It took great coordination and out-of-the-box thinking from our team to make this such a huge success," said Elauwit CEO Barry Rubens.

Elauwit is proud to have delivered on its promise of exceptional customer experience for The House at Cornell Tech, and appreciates the honor and distinction from the judges for the Student Housing Business Innovator Awards.

Lindsey Johns