River Clyde Homes launches smart neighbourhood partnership with HouseMark and major technology players

15/06/2016 16:04:54

River Clyde Homes launches smart neighbourhood partnership with HouseMark and major technology players

Illustration of one of the 'smart' multi-storey properties at Broomhill - Image courtesy of Flexeye

River Clyde Homes recently launched the Smart Neighbourhood@Broomhill project - a ground breaking demonstrator project in partnership with HouseMark, Flexeye, Arqiva, Webthings and Smart Compliance.

The Smart Neighbourhood@Broomhill will explore the benefits to landlords and tenants of the installation of a comprehensive package of sensor-based Internet of Things (IoT) devices in social housing.

The demonstrator is field testing around three hundred multi-functional IoT devices in RCH homes in Broomhill, Greenock, and the surrounding external estate. 

River Clyde Homes hope to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Ability to predict maintenance needs and act at the right time thus saving unnecessary expenditure
  • Near real-time[1] monitoring of appliances to minimise health and safety risks for residents
  • Better asset intelligence for business planning purposes
  • Greater visibility of energy usage to enable residents to better manage fuel poverty

River Clyde Homes will be able to monitor the reliability and safety of different physical assets, including lifts and windows, through:

  • A package of multi-functional IoT devices developed by Webthings – a dynamic and leading UK based IoT technology provider specialising in cutting edge technology and devices
  • Use of the SIGFOX low power, wide area network (LPWAN) supplied by Arqiva - the UK’s leading communications infrastructure and media services company
  • Smart carbon monoxide (CO) detectors from Smart Compliance
  • A business intelligence system developed by Flexeye – a leading technology platform and services provider and lead partner of the HyperCat Consortium (the UK Government programme driving secure and interoperable IoT)

The Smart Neighbourhood@Broomhill is ground breaking in the following ways:

  • First application in UK residential housing of SIGFOX communications technology – enabling faster, more reliable connections between IoT devices and bringing a cost-effective, scalable and higher capacity network to the sector
  • First comprehensive package of Internet of Things (IoT) devices for UK social housing covering a range of conditions, from temperature and humidity to noise, movement, wind speed, heat and power, etc.
  • First project to bring together near real time residential data from multiple IoT devices simultaneously, in a format consistent with Hypercat IoT interoperability standards – thus laying down the foundations for interoperability within IoT ecosystems of the future
  • First social housing ‘smart neighbourhood’ with IoT devices covering the internal and external environment in the Broomhill area

The parties involved in the initiative anticipate that if (as expected) the demonstrator is successful then this IoT solution can be offered to the UK housing sector as a cost-effective, leading standard, scalable solution for their future property maintenance and tenant welfare requirements.

Ross Fraser, HouseMark Chief Executive, said:

“We are delighted to be leading this initiative.   We anticipate that this demonstrator will prove that IoT can deliver actionable insights to transform landlord efficiency and effectiveness in property maintenance and tenant welfare.”

Kevin Scarlett, RCH Chief Executive, said: “This is an exciting project not just for River Clyde Homes, but more importantly for all our customers at Broomhill. I am confident the demonstrator will enable the company to provide more efficient and effective services for our customers, and significantly improve the quality of our housing offer for existing and future residents.”

Justin Anderson, Exec Chair, Flexeye, and a founder of Hypercat commented, "Smart technologies can make a big difference to the quality and cost of services in the social housing sector.  Flexeye will play an essential role by turning sensor data into insight, action and opportunities for RCH to improve services for tenants.  Our technology platform combined with Hypercat-enabled data, means that this initial demonstrator can be scaled to support other social landlords that in total have millions of properties nationwide."

Sean Weir, Director Smart and M2M at Arqiva said:

“Social housing is one of many sectors that has the potential to be radically transformed by the IoT.  Until now the cost of implementing IoT technologies has proved a big obstacle in realising these possibilities.  With low cost, low power networks such as SIGFOX helping companies like Webthings bring effective IoT solutions to market affordably, this is all set to change.”

Webthings Director, Justin Tisbury said “We are delighted to be involved in this project and are committed to creating innovative IoT products for the SIGFOX network.   We are forerunners in developing solutions based on this technology and our solutions are designed to be easy to configure, install and maintain demonstrating a clear ROI which we believe will become the standard within the sector.”

For further information please contact : Sharon Fleming, instigator and project lead of the smart neighbourhood – sharon.fleming@housemark.co.uk 


[1]‘Near real-time’ is the new technology terminology for what is often previously described as ‘real time’. This new term has become standard as technology providers seek to clarify expectations about the time delay in processing data. The term ‘near real-time’ therefore means the production of data as immediately as possible given the need for data processing activity.


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