As a registered social landlord, Origin Housing manage 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. Origin state: “We want to provide homes that people are proud to live in. Housing is a long-term commitment so it is important to us that we build quality property and continue to invest in keeping homes at modern standards over many decades. We want our communities to be places where people feel safe and proud, and where they can aspire to reach their potential.”

The Chief Technology Solutions Manager is responsible for creating sustainable monitoring and automation capabilities for their properties. The purpose of this project was to help join the dots between real business challenges facing Origin Housing and the opportunities that come with the set of technologies often referred to as ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT). Technology can play a hugely important role in streamlining many operations.

Our Brief & Approach

The important initial stages of this project were the investigation stages, taking the time to talk to the key stakeholders at Origin Housing and understanding their current challenges, ways of working and immediate priorities.
This discovery process led to the categorisation of three key areas of objectives that then developed into the identification of 27 individual use cases that could be grouped into 5 key categories:

  • Managing Assets
  • Misuse of Spaces
  • Key/access
  • Management of Resident Services
  • Letting Turnaround

Identifying the opportunities & implementing the Solution: Use case example

Current Lift Maintenance Procedures

  • Service to pump water out
  • Repair of the control system
  • Callouts for a lift operative

IoT Solution

  • Sensors can be deployed to detect flooding and alert
  • Detect re-occurrence before control system is damaged
  • Early action can be taken
  • Help diagnose the cause
  • Confirm that a fix has worked
  • Initial investment covered hardware and project management over two site
  • Next steps to deploy to other at risk sites

Through our discovery process we have uncovered plenty of opportunities for Origin Housing to use IoT technology to drive efficiency, save money, help manage suppliers and improve resident satisfaction.

Short to medium term:

  • Deploy the lift flood sensors
  • Do further work into the ROI/business case for use cases with
    high potential (e.g. key tracking, people occupancy, fire door alerts)
  • Existing assets could be retrofitted
  • To move IoT beyond the pilot phase we’ll be thinking proof of value, not proof of concept

Long term

  • Start developing the back end platform and services for IoT
  • Consideration for IoT in new developments, major works and
    equipment refresh
  • Have a strategy to replace assets with IoT enabled solutions
    over time (e.g. core lift controls)

“The exploratory process of working with Foresolutions has been really fruitful. Not only have we been presented with clear,
actionable solutions to problems we had already identified, there are also a wealth of additional use cases that have been uncovered through logically talking through our business processes. Just by deploying the lift sensors we’ve already saved ourselves from repeat reactive expenditure on repairs, and I’ve no doubt we’ll see more examples of not only cost savings but improvements to the living conditions and quality of shared spaces for our residents.”

James Berger – Origin Housing

“IoT is such an exciting area for us, with adoption steadily increasing and real value to be had across many business sectors. We’re delighted to have been able to help James to identify so many use cases for our technology that will make for a more efficient operation and a better quality of living for the residents.”

Tom Ross – Foresolutions Ltd

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