High-tech sensors set to save housing associations millions of pounds

A North Wales company’s cutting edge sensor technology is helping housing associations to maintain their properties and improve tenant health.

A growing number of social housing providers are using the sensors to slash their maintenance bills by detecting issues such as damp, fuel poverty and abandoned properties.

Among early adopters of the technology which has been developed by St Asaph based company Pinacl Solutions are Newport City Homes, Halton Housing and the City of York.

Mark Lowe, Pinacl’s Business Development Director said:

“Social housing providers are responsible for managing tens of thousands of properties, often with extremely small teams.

“Poor property conditions cause serious problems for the property and, more importantly, tenant health if they are not addressed quickly.

“It costs in the region of £25,000 to fully refit the average social housing property, a cost that our technology helps to avoid.

“According to a BBC report, more than £35million in compensation and legal fees have been paid out to people living in ‘unfit homes’ in the last five years.

“We know from our research that around one in ten properties have an urgent need of intervention which would require renovation running into tens of thousands of pounds if not detected early on and acted upon.”

The sensors give social housing providers a real-time insight into the health of each of their properties.

Alerts can be automatically generated if problems arise or are predicted to, ensuring that corrective action is taken to keep property and tenant healthy. Up to four sensors will be installed in homes, typically covering the bathroom, bedroom, living room and kitchen.

Pinacl provides a full end-to-end solution from sensor, Internet of Things (IoT) network to application dashboard. The sensors can monitor humidity, temperature, Co2 and movement and are able to provide hourly readings on to the dashboard.

Mark added:

“The IoT is a current technology buzzword but what we have done is develop a solution to a long-term and hugely expensive challenge facing social housing providers.

“We have made good progress in the housing sector since launching the product and we are now looking at further opportunities in areas such as domiciliary care.”

Pinacl Solutions is headquartered in St Asaph, North Wales, but works across the UK providing public and private sector organisations with a range of innovative digital transformation solutions. The company is 35 years old and employs almost 50 staff.

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