Digital enablement of sustainable housing systems

The client required the analysis, design, prototyping and implementation of complex, multi-utility solution to achieve sustainable new homes.

The challenge set by the client was to deliver a low carbon, low cost, sustainable utilities solution through digital integration at the building and district level, providing full control of energy usage, water usage, heating/ hot water usage in real-time through in house controls and digitally via browser or smart phone app.

The aim of this innovative property developer was to accelerate the transition to zero carbon cities with the development acting as a chain reaction across the UK house building industry, creating sustainable communities in low carbon developments across the country.

The work involved Research & Development across mechanical, electrical and digital disciplines for the design of the Building Management System, integration of metering and sensors with digital, NoSQL+RDBMS architecture, blueprints for intelligent demand/response district storage of excess solar energy into thermal storage tanks and smartphone interfaces serving insight and control to users.

Of key importance was to analyse, architect and prototype a solution upfront for the mechanical and electrical infrastructures at the building and site level. The solution would be permanent and robust with flexibility to iterate the higher digital aspects of the technology stack without constraint.

The final solution was successfully deployed in the first block of Eco homes in Sheffield, with it being deployed to a further 241 homes. The development has won a host of awards for its design and sustainability. As a result of this success, the developer is now focusing on its next scheme, the Climate Innovation District in Leeds which will build upon the successes of this earlier project.

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