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California's first smart community

The platform has outfitted pool equipment, lighting and irrigation systems with sensors that are securely connected to the Internet

Westpark in Irvine is home to the first smart homeowner's association
Westpark in Irvine is home to the first smart homeowner's association

The first smart community association has launched in Irvine, California.


Westpark Maintenance District in Irvine, managed by Powerstone Property Management, is the pilot community for a smart product called Common Sense. It is aimed specifically at homeowner association (HOA) use, making San Marino Park the first smart community park in the US state


According to the association, smart technology has paved the way for progressive cities to evolve into smart cities and savvy homeowners to convert their homes into smart homes; now the HOA community is also able to participate in the movement and realise the many benefits.


There are more than 52,000 HOAs in California and growing, many of which utilise systems and equipment behind-the-scenes to support the common areas and parks that people enjoy: pools, lighting, irrigation, surveillance, gates, car charging stations and more.


These systems can now be equipped with sensors and connected securely to the internet to be monitored, automated, and controlled remotely, helping to solve real world problems, like energy conservation and not having enough water.


“The opportunity for our communities to take advantage of smart technologies is tremendous. We can hugely expand efficiencies while also improving the resident experience,” said Kimberly Weiss, president and CEO of Common Sense.


“For example, the lighting vendor can now verify lighting operation remotely and the pool vendor doesn’t have to visit the site daily to test the pool water chemistry. As our populations grow, conservation is crucial to overall sustainability, and this system is a big step in that direction.”


Specifically, in San Marino Park, the Common Sense modular system has outfitted the pool equipment, lighting, and irrigation systems with sensors that are connected to a secure internet network, providing continual and automatic monitoring and information, sent securely through the cloud.


Operational and analytical data is viewable and manageable by the community manager and service providers from one secure, role-based dashboard. Plus, a resident portal provides access for residents to see real-time information about the pools, electronically report a maintenance concern and more.


The platform provides up-to-the-minute information, sends email/SMS alerts to the community manager and vendors when a problem is detected, and provides analytics and the ability to control equipment remotely.


A key feature for pools is that the system tests pool water quality every 15 minutes, documents, and makes adjustments as needed, helping to meet critical California Title 22 regulations.


“This type of innovation and technology was a good fit for Westpark, giving us an opportunity to serve our clients even better. Now our residents can check their smartphone to see if a pool is occupied by swim team practice, check the water temperature, or report an issue,” added Karina Reta, community manager, Powerstone Property Management.


“I can see all of the smart systems in one online dashboard, so I don’t have to log in to multiple separate systems. And I have real-time information, which serves our community and our residents, better. Now our park, built in the 1980s, is among the most technologically advanced in California.”


Common Sense is a business unit of Three Phase Electric, a lighting and electrical firm in Southern California serving HOAs for more than 28 years.


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