Peterborough’s social housing IoT testbed
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:
L-R: Aidan Dickson, planning manager at Cross Keys Homes; and Rebecca Stephens, city manager at CityFibre

CityFibre and Cross Key Homes (CKH), Peterborough’s largest social housing landlord, are partnering on a trial at three of CKH’s residential locations to assess the potential benefits of using sensors to monitor health, safety and environmental factors and their ability to deliver cost and carbon savings.

The data from the sensors was sent over the air, before being backhauled over CityFibre’s full fibre network. The project was made possible by Comms365’s expertise in Internet of Things (IoT) sensor networks and applications and the company won the “Channel Supplier: Specialist Supplier” Award at the Comms Business Awards on 20 June for its role in delivering the project.

The sensors were used to monitor humidity and condensation to improve tenants’ comfort while reducing the need for damp treatment or repair. Environmental sensors were used to address wasted heat in communal areas and noise sensors allowed the monitoring of unauthorised activity in vacant properties, and parking sensors alerted staff to illegal parking in front of emergency exits. Additional sensors were also used to monitor levels in water tanks and detect fire risks such as open fire doors.

Claire Higgins, chief executive at Cross Keys Homes, said: “At the beginning of the trial we could never have anticipated just how many uses and benefits the IoT technology would uncover. We have been able to identify new ways to ensure our homes are comfortable, safe and green by addressing condensation, security, fire risk and energy waste, which in turn has led to significant cost and efficiency savings.

“The potential for this technology to transform operations for other housing providers and different public services is immense. We are thrilled to be trialling IoT in one of the first cities to benefit from a citywide full fibre roll out. As an innovative organisation we are ambitious to explore Peterborough’s smart city potential even further and showcase its status as one of the most digitally advanced communities in the UK.”

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