UK Housing Association

Dec 2020

The Client

Our client is a housing association based in the UK as a registered social landlord, managing over 6,800 homes in London and Hertfordshire. They provide affordable housing in their communities as well as related care and support services to the people who live in them.

The Chief Technology Solutions Manager is responsible for creating sustainable monitoring and automation capabilities for their properties.

Our Brief

The  Housing Association found that in one facility, long term vacancies, or “voids”, resulted in up to £10K per month in lost rent. Often they wouldn’t know if a room was occupied or not because tenants would leave unexpectedly, without making rent payments.

The team needed a way to correlate true occupancy with their payment system in order to maximize rental income.

Additionally, they wanted to improve the safety and monitoring capabilities of their portfolio. Tracking assets such as fire extinguishers, entrance and exits, and monitoring conditions and air quality would improve the tenant experience and increase rentals. The new latest property, adjacent to Watford Stadium, would be the proving ground for solution based on the Rigado Presto Kit.

The Solution

The client tried a variety of technologies, but found the only way to build a working, scalable solution was with the right hardware from Rigado linked with Microsoft Azure IOT .  The occupancy sensors, asset tags, and temperature monitors enabled all of the key uses cases they needed to get started.  They quickly got dashboards built into IoT Central, and could present the story to their leadership team to expand the pilot to other properties.

They immediately saw the benefits of working with Foresolutions and implementing the  Rigado sensor network using low-energy Bluetooth. “We tried other wireless technologies, but this combination had something that worked as a solution out-of-the-box.  We needed something easy to install and support, and Foresolutions gave us exactly that.”

The customer also benefitted from the Azure IoT integration. Using the pre-set device templates and data exports from IoT Central allowed James and his team to focus on creating valuable data insights for their management team, as well as market the new capabilities to tenants.

A Better Living Experience

The client is already planning ways to integrate into the MyHive application for their tenants, for example using the temperature data from each room. Additionally they have plans to add badges for employees and occupancy monitoring to help staff better manage the properties across the portfolio.

Looking Ahead

The client has now started a journey, and with support from Foresolutions are currently working on a joint IOT strategy for business improvement and identifying the net high priority business cases.  With the Foresolutions and Rigado offering they are easily able to add more gateways and sensors to their current kit, this has been made that a seamless process, converting their Presto PoC to a Swift Pilot. Soon they will be adding the C7 employee badge and the S4 door sensor, which are also available on the same platform.

“The Rigado Kit has finally made it possible for solution providers to deliver on the promise of smart and safe buildings. We recommend it for anyone looking to build monitoring and automation on Azure for their commercial properties.”