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Housing Group turns to smart home tech in tackling damp and mould

Milton-Keynes based Grand Union Housing Group has introduced smart home technologies across its housing portfolio of 12,500 properties to improve resident safety, reduce damp and mould concerns, and ensure compliance with shifting regulations on social housing.

Aico’s HomeLINK Connected Home Solution IoT sensors were selected to monitor real-time indoor environmental conditions such as humidity and temperature, which are the main causes of damp and can lead to mould; and fire and carbon monoxide events. Access to this data has saved Grand Union’s team of 400 precious time and resources while freeing them up to better support their customers.

Martyn Cheeseman – Electrical Delivery Manager (Responsive), Grand Union, explains: “Within days of utilising the HomeLINK Environmental Sensors and Gateway, we can already validate the effectiveness of new ventilation systems we are installing to resolve condensation, damp and mould issues. Real-time data insights provided via the HomeLINK Portal make it very simple for us to make informed decisions on the future specification of fans that are proven to be effective in the treatment of humid and damp living conditions.”

The properties within Grand Union’s housing portfolio include general needs housing, supported housing accommodation, shared ownership, leasehold and market rental properties. Following the Grenfell disaster, Grand Union changed its corporate strategy to prioritise accountability and transparency in all dealings with its 27,000 residents across Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Hertfordshire.

Grand Union wanted to deliver cost-effective, efficient, relevant and quality services to ensure resident safety and comfort. So, it introduced digital technologies, including Aico’s advanced 3000 Series of Smoke, Heat and Carbon Monoxide alarms, as part of its corporate strategy. By implementing Aico’s solution, Grand Union is quickly able to identify and implement urgent building repairs and maintenances, while also ensuring properties remain legally compliant and fit for human habitation.

Aico’s HomeLINK Internet of Things (IoT) sensors provide accurate automated data collection, which eradicates human error, and gives Grand Union actionable insights to strengthen residential safety, health and wellbeing. The housing provider has also developed an environmental sustainability strategy focused on the thermal efficiency of its entire housing portfolio. This new strategy ensures all its homes are well insulated, as well as offering a range of heating options to increase efficiency.

Grand Union’s data strategy from its use of HomeLINK includes enhanced decision-making, across the business, making the shift from responsive to planned maintenance seamless. It also ensures data governance and security, an efficient data architecture including “single version of the truth” data exchange insights, and a real-time view of property compliance.

“It’s great to be working so closely with housing and asset management teams across Grand Union Housing Group,” said Ben Malton – Regional Specification Manager, Aico. “They recognise that the links between health and housing are long established and well known, and that housing can be a significant determinant to health and resident wellbeing. Utilising our HomeLINK sensors, data, alerts and insights, we are already providing value to the numerous teams across the organisation ensuring housing compliance, safer homes, enhanced resident wellbeing and communication. With 12,000 homes, housing 27,000 people, our sensor technology provides a scalable and cost effective solution to deliver services to residents efficiently for Grand Union.”

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