With the unidentified future of social housing a conflicting focal point in the media and the IoT still in its early adoption stage, UK housing associations are seeking out opportunities to combine the power of connected technology to cement a brighter future for social housing and its tenants.
A prevalent facet of the IoT is home automation and within that is the ability to effectively monitor and manage a property’s amenities to facilitate seamless supply and little disruption to a tenant’s day to day life with maintenance callouts. Livin and Talking Assets (A Mears Group and ELS joint venture company) have chosen water management and monitoring as basis for an initial trial which will see 140 devices rolled out across 70 properties. The collaboration signals a first for Talking Assets – to provide bespoke designed automated devices and systems to social housing across the UK. As part of the principal trial two major devices in ELS’ product portfolio will be used; an Automated Boiler Control Module (BCM) and an Automated Filling Valve (AFV). It’s also important to note that the devices work on a secure independent system and does not rely on an occupier’s broadband connection to operate.
BCM: This discrete device integrates into a property’s current boiler/heating system to constantly monitor and collate data on a boilers performance. The module reports back on a boilers status and health, which can be viewed on CONNECT; a cloud based portal that shows real time and historical data. This data can be used to analyse a boilers performance and enable cost and time effective preventative maintenance measures to be deployed by housing providers.
AFV: This device integrates into any sealed heated system and monitors a boilers pressure. Based on these readings, automatic refills to a boiler can take place if a drop in pressure is detected – to ensure no disruption or inconsistencies in a property’s hot water supply. To ensure that the drop-in pressure is not a consequence of a more serious issue, such as a leak, the device is programmed with a series of safety protocols before a refill takes place.
During the trial period Livin will perform thorough and dynamic testing on all installed devices, creating purposeful faults and occurrences. These tests will be completed over the course of the next few weeks with the view to showcase the devices and supporting system in their entirety.
The dynamic flexibility of ELS’ devices and systems allow for easy and effective integration of other devices in the product portfolio, which seamlessly connect to all other devices (including the BCM and AFV) to create a fully connected environment; facilitating effective property management within the social housing sector.