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The Internet of Things: smart property management at Two Castles Housing Association

Capita’s ground-breaking project with Two Castles Housing Association tackles fuel poverty using smart home technology

Two Castles Housing Association, which manages properties across the North of England, has formed an innovative partnership with Capita to install smart sensor monitoring equipment to capture and analyse household data such as air quality, temperature and humidity. The project is the first of its kind for the sector and will help tackle overheating and fuel poverty, plus the health issues and property damage caused by damp, as well as helping to provide services to vulnerable residents.

Benefits of smart sensors in property management

  • Reduced administration, phone calls, or multiple visits to the property. 
  • Allows for better planning, purchasing and decision making when it comes to placing tenants.  
  • Insurers and lenders will appreciate housing providers who can  demonstrate detailed knowledge of the state of their stock.  
  • Housing providers can monitor households that appear to be struggling and work proactively with them before someone becomes ill or a property becomes damaged.  
  • External air quality data can be freely provided to the residents and the local authority.

Affording to keep homes warm is a real issue for too many families across the North of England. The problem is exacerbated in rural communities affected by rising energy prices, poor building stock and high fuel expenditure.

Rob Brittain

Property services director at Two Castles Housing Association

So how do the smart sensors work?

Three types of remote sensor monitors were installed and are being tested at Anick View in Hexham, digitally sensing the property’s temperature, humidity, acoustics, carbon monoxide and smoke. Sensors have also been placed on lamp-posts in the street to measure outside air quality, and Two Castles is also monitoring power consumption within the properties. Using similar technology to a smartphone, alerts from the sensors are captured on Capita’s OPENHousing platform where they may initiate a phone call, a visit or appointment. Household data will be collated in OPENHousing over a pilot period of twelve months. The data will provide Two Castles with an accurate picture of how well each household’s key building features are performing, and will work by measuring the actual internal environment of each property, the power used to create this environment as well as external conditions.

The data recorded will also help Two Castles to educate and advise all its residents on ways in which they can live smarter and more sustainably to reduce fuel bills and save them money. 

Once the pilot scheme is complete, Two Castles hopes to roll out the technology across its housing stock.

Using smart monitoring equipment we can accurately test how well a home is performing from its internal energy usage to external building fabric. This will allow us to identify what features are working well, on top of areas for improvement, enabling the homes we build in the future to be as energy efficient as possible for the individuals and families who live in them.

Rob Brittain

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