The Connected Home Consortium is running a series of pilot projects to assess how the Internet of Things could help with tenancy and asset management applications. The first pilot focuses on sensor technology to help manage tenancy issues related to temperature, damp and condensation in housing providers’ properties.
The consortium is using Blue Maestro’s Tempo devices. These are small, lightweight temperature, humidity and pressure sensors which record environmental conditions every seven seconds. Readings from the devices are collected by a smartphone running the Tempo app over Bluetooth Low Energy. The devices can be delivered by post and installed by tenants themselves without the involvement of a specialist. They are also so cheap that they are effectively ‘disposable’, especially when compared with the cost of the usual equipment needed to monitor temperature and moisture measurements.
Matt Leach, chief executive of HACT, the agency behind the Connected Home Consortium, said, “These pilots are just the first step towards a vision of ‘big data’ and automation achieved through connected housing. Our pilot projects aim to get new technology out ‘into the wild’ and involved in a range of tenancy and asset management applications.
“Housing providers are imagining a connected world where we know the thermal performance of all of our housing stock and we can use this data to create benchmarks and then predict units with potential damp and condensation issues. But it goes further than just stock condition; if we know the average temperature of flats in a block then we can use machines to easily spot when a flat is under heated, which is perhaps an indication of where there may be a fuel poverty problem.”
The consortium comprises EMH Homes, Family Mosaic, First Wessex, Halton Housing Trust, MHS Homes, Northwards Housing, Radian Group, Spectrum Housing, Wandle Housing and Watford Community Housing Trust.