Places for People is trialling a small number of building moisture index (BMI) diagnostic systems to assess, monitor and protect its trial properties against excess moisture.
The housing provider is the first external user of the BMI technology, launched by the Property Care Association (PCA) following a three-year research project with the Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering at University College London.
The BMI system works by placing IoT devices, including environmental sensors, into different types of properties to measure conditions such as temperature and relative humidity. Bespoke software then uses the devices’ data to show why an individual property is out of balance in terms of its moisture levels. The technology then suggests the correct solutions to address the issue.
Mark Winstanley, head of asset management, Places for People, said, “We’ve successfully used the BMI system to accurately identify the best way to reduce condensation and mould growth in tenants’ homes. The clear reports also help us discuss with tenants how they can gain the greatest benefits from the changes we suggest.”
Dr Paula Lopez-Arce, research scientist, Property Care Association, said, “The data we’ve received has helped us to create a picture of the issues surrounding excess moisture across a variety of properties including flats, bungalows, terraced and detached houses in different regions, to cover a representative mix of property types.
“With the BMI system, housing providers can now identify and quantify moisture problems better and evaluate targeted ways to address any issues. The system helps to avoid costly repairs and, most importantly, improves housing quality and living conditions.”
The PCA’s BMI system is now available in the UK via Maple Research and Development.