Housing provider turns to IoT to increase efficiency | News

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The Innovation and Technology Network

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Housing provider turns to IoT to increase efficiency

A housing association has joined with an Internet of Things (IoT) platform in a drive to improve sustainability and increase efficiency.

Following a successful trial in 2020, South West-based provider BCHA is currently installing Legionella IoT sensor devices in several of its properties to monitor water temperature.  

The collected data is fed to new partner Daizy Tech Ltd and then made available to BCHA through a single application programming interface (API). The data is then processed into a simple actionable task for BCHA’s asset management team to carry out.   

The housing provider says there are numerous benefits to harnessing IoT technology, including:

  • Removing unnecessary call outs and a decrease in the number of physical visits
  • Prioritising maintenance
  • Automating compliance reporting
  • Creating safer living environments
  • Providing tenant access to property performance information
  • Removal of unnecessary business processes
  • Creating a more efficient work force – fewer visits, less tenant disturbance
  • A greener approach to providing services

Martin Hancock, BCHA’s Chief Executive, said: “We are always looking for new initiatives to improve our customer and team health and safety, and it is no surprise that the advances in technology over the past decade have a big part to play in making a difference.

“The introduction of IoT technology has enabled businesses to be more proactive in their approach, creating revenue streams and saving on costs. The real-time data improves monitoring and reduces the need for physical presence, something that has become all the more relevant in present times.”

BCHA is now interested in finding other IoT solutions that can meet the needs of its diverse range of properties, and has identified several potential problems the technology could solve:

  • Damp and mould – early prevention would improve customer health and reduce repair / replacement costs
  • Fuel poverty/utilities – being able to help identify those in need would help improve customer welfare
  • Locks – digital locks allow temporary access to be given to contractors, housing officers or visitors and would help to reduce carbon
  • Fire alarm and emergency lighting testing – this would enable BCHA to spot and resolve issues more quickly, meaning improved safety for customers and provide time saving benefits for staff
  • Leak prevention/water usage – small leaks can often go unnoticed causing increased utility costs and potential damage to a building. Being able to monitor water use will identify a spike where one was not expected, allowing BCHA to intervene before damage occurs.

David Ffoulkes-Jones, Daizy CEO, said: “It is only by making the deployment, management and the access to data super consumable that IoT-enabled services will deliver on their huge potential.

“This partnership allows BCHA to maintain control by using the Daizy platform in their IoT strategy. This is one part of the digital transformation programme BCHA are embarking on, but we are very proud to be doing our bit and showing how IoT can scale in the enterprise.”