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Case Study: Clydebank Housing Association

7 June 2021

Clydebank Housing Association is utilising Aico’s 3000 Series and 600 Series detectors as well as the innovative Ei1000G SmartLINK Gateway to ensure tenant safety, future-proof their housing stock and meet the latest legislation to maintain compliance.

 

Clydebank Housing Association was established by local residents in 1984, working in partnership with the Housing Corporation and with the Local Authority, to set out to improve housing and regenerate the central and east areas of the town. The Association was registered with the Housing Corporation in January 1985 and celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2020. In 1999, the Association acquired over 750 houses in Clydebank from the previous landlord, Scottish Homes, increasing their stock to over 1,100 houses and flats, catering for all types of residents including the elderly, disabled people and those with special needs.

 


 

The changes in legislation relating to The Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 (Tolerable Standard) Order 2019, specifies that homes must have satisfactory equipment for detecting Fire and Carbon Monoxide (CO). Therefore, it was critical for Clydebank Housing Association to set out a tender process for the delivery of Fire and CO alarms to maintain compliance. A requirement of the legislation is for all Smoke and Heat alarms within a property to be interlinked, which encouraged the Association to utilise Aico’s 3000 Series detectors with SmartLINK technology.

 

The Association’s upgrade program applies to over 800 properties across the town including several high-rise tower blocks in the Radnor Park area. The Fire and CO alarm upgrade will not only ensure the housing stock is compliant, but it will significantly increase tenant safety. Initially the SmartLINK specification was considered for the tower blocks as often access can be difficult. Further to this, there is no gas heating in these properties therefore it was clear that the use of the Gateway represented an obvious cost-saving, as the alarm system integrity can be verified remotely; usually this is done at the annual gas safety check. Under BS 5839-6:2019 Table 3 recommendations, it is in fact a monthly test which is recommended by the occupant. The Housing Association will receive real-time alerts about the properties, which enables fast, reactive response times to keep tenants safe as well as ensuring the alarms systems are functioning correctly.

 

Clydebank Housing Association did not only see the benefit of the Ei1000G SmartLINK Gateway in their non-gas towers but in all of their properties. The Ei1000G monitors every linked alarm and will notify the Housing Association on a wider range of alarm events in real-time through a web-based portal to provide extra visibility. Remote access to information such as sensor status, alarm replacement dates, battery life, activations, testing of alarms and detector head removals, will empower a proactive approach to asset management.

 

The Gateway receives this information through Radio Frequency (RF) signals and the encrypted data is sent to the cloud-based portal using roaming GSM connectivity; this feature is a huge benefit as properties do not require a Wi-Fi or broadband connection for the Gateway to work. The information collected through the Gateway is then accessible through the online dashboard where the Association can generate insightful reports on their properties’ Fire and CO alarm performance. This innovative technology will help to future-proof housing stock and allow for potential savings regarding fire alarm maintenance. Clydebank Housing Association will utilise the system to ensure detectors are being tested regularly. The real-time data will also assist with identifying sounding alarms; this can cause confusion for people due to the interlinking of all smoke alarms required by the updated legislation.

 


 

Having recently completed Aico’s newly accredited CPD training session “The Link”, the Housing Association were able to understand new sensor technology which is due to arrive on the market in 2021. Clydebank Housing Association will explore the possibility of adding environmental sensors to monitor other property conditions such as air quality (CO2), with the aim of providing safer, healthier and well-maintained housing for their tenants.

 

Jack Devlin, Acting Housing Services Manager at Clydebank Housing Association commented; “We are really excited to have nearly concluded our Gateway roll out through our LD2 program. It made sense to be taking advantage of this technology now being available. Essentially the Gateway is the vehicle for gathering the data from a property and it made sense to get these installed at the earliest opportunity so that additional sensors can be added retrospectively in the future. We are future-proofing our housing stock for years to come and with additional sensors in the pipeline these could potentially be added to our existing Gateway systems to provide remote insights on environmental data such air quality, fuel deprivation, humidity and temperature in addition to gathering data on the detection systems.

Being able to run reports on the portal such as faults and replacement dates does make forecasting maintenance a much simpler process. Providing safe homes for our tenants is our top priority and this is what we are doing. We have found that the Gateway has been a hugely successful tool in engaging with our tenants and we are keen to see the new Resident app in action, which will empower our tenants to make lifestyle changes based on data gathered from the new environmental sensors.

 

Regional Specification Manager for Central Scotland, Tony Boyle, worked with Clydebank Housing Association to detail a bespoke specification that met the requirements of the upgrade program. Tony said of the project, “It’s great to see Social Landlords embracing this technology with open arms and realising the benefits, not only to them but just as importantly for the residents living in the properties. Providing safe homes for all tenants is what ranks highest on Clydebank Housing Associations list of priorities and coupled with the increased efficiency the Gateway will bring the client it was a simple decision for them. I look forward to supporting them and working with them in the future to create safer communities in Clydebank. The Gateway is the vehicle for providing the fully connected home and this is just the start.

 

City Technical Services were awarded one lot of the upgrade program. Kenny Henderson, Managing Director and Aico Expert Installer comments “We are impressed with the Gateway particularly within the tower blocks where you tend to think GSM signals may be a problem given their solid construction type, but we found that notifications were delivered instantly, and the use of a roaming sim card is ideal as Wi-Fi or LoRaWAN is not always a reliable method of connectivity. The site support from Aico has been second to none and all of our engineers have undergone their CPD training which keeps us up to date with the latest rules and regulations as well as emerging technologies such as the Gateway.”