8 February 2019

Hampshire Sheltered housing scheme joins Internet of Things revolution

Residents at a 65-home sheltered housing scheme in Hampshire will benefit from innovative safety enhancements with VIVID Housing Association’s installation of three cutting edge “Internet of Things” (IoT) services

It’s hoped that the installation of internet-enabled water sensors and safety lighting at VIVID’s Fernhill scheme near Eastleigh in Hampshire will bring significant advantages to customers, help VIVID meet regulatory requirements, improve safety and security, and deliver VIVID cost efficiencies.

Eastleigh-based partner Barter For Things worked with VIVID on IoT remote monitoring of in-home water quality for Legionella without the need for manned testing. And, in a UK housing sector first, these sensors will also provide a valuable “scald alert” service to give VIVID direct warning of boiler issues that means repairs teams can respond more quickly. Digital sensors attached to in-flow water pipes collect and send data via the internet for processing. Artificial Intelligence systems then produce a daily water quality report. In a service innovation developed for VIVID, the same sensors send warnings of abnormal boiler water temperatures to allow proactive intervention from VIVID’s repairs team.

Fernhill residents are also benefiting from IoT-enabled Safecility emergency lighting units that manage testing automatically and send reports remotely to a cloud-based compliance management platform. The sensors automate a vital piece of fire safety testing and help to ensure the state of fire safety readiness required by law. The IoT system eliminates the need for manned inspection and replaces paper test reports with digital records. Safecility’s management system alerts Vivid Homes to any failures or defects in real-time allowing them to send technicians to carry out repairs quickly. It also stores and monitors records for the entire stock, streamlining data management and reporting.

Costly manned inspections of both services traditionally risk inconvenience to customers. All three innovations are currently unique in the social housing sector and help VIVID provide faster response while reducing dependency on customers to report problems.

VIVID Head of Innovation and Repairs Justin Crittall said: “Our Fernhill IoT project marks the most significant initiative so far in VIVID’s technology-driven service innovations strategy. Our Fernhill customers will get an improved customer experience and safety reassurances while VIVID will see greater cost effectiveness. We want VIVID customers to benefit from our ability to disrupt traditional housing services models and improve their wellbeing while reducing disruption to their lives.”

Barter For Things Chief Executive Alex Barter said: “As an Eastleigh-based business we’re delighted Hampshire-based VIVID has chosen to partner with us to create solutions that benefit the wellbeing of local residents. By working in partnership on these services VIVID is recognising the numerous ways public service organisations can benefit from IoT.”

SafelicityChief Executive Cian O Flaherty said: “Clearly VIVID is a thought leader among housing associations in seeing the practical benefits of IoT based services. Safelicity is a reliable, effective solution to provide residents and their home environment with bright and safe futures while improving the way VIVID manages maintenance and compliance in a timelier way.”

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VIVID is Hampshire’s largest provider of affordable homes