North delivers IoT packs to Aberdeenshire towns

  • October 24, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Residents and visitors across Aberdeenshire in Scotland are set to benefit from an IoT project that has the potential to transform the lives of those who live and work in the area.

The project will see Aberdeenshire Council trial six smart technologies in partnership with UK IoT provider North as part of the company’s IoT Accelerator Pack programme. The pilots will provide the council with access to real-time data insights on building health, social housing, water monitoring, waste management, air quality and road surface temperature monitoring, allowing the council to make more informed decisions that will benefit the local communities.

The Accelerator Packs are being rolled out to 12 towns across Aberdeenshire, including Westhill, Ellon and Stonehaven, allowing the council to explore reductions across cost and energy consumption, while improving operational efficiencies and reducing carbon footprint, in support of the council’s net-zero commitments.

As part of the project, five road temperature sensors will be installed across the region, increasing the council’s ability to make more informed decisions, such as when to dispatch gritters, reducing emissions generated by extra trips, while smart waste management will detect fill levels across a mix of fifty litter and grit bins to predict usage trends, allowing opportunities to identify more efficient collection routes and dates.

In addition, fifteen air quality sensors will measure factors such as primary air pollutants, temperature and humidity in real time, meaning the council can determine trends across Aberdeenshire, which can then be used to shape policy and decision making as well as improving health and wellbeing for those who live and work in the region. Some sensors will monitor air quality outside schools to determine the impact of vehicles when children are entering and leaving, while the council will also monitor the health of multiple schools across the council area, remotely measuring CO2 and humidity levels in place of current manual readings to improve efficiency.

In addition, thirteen Aberdeenshire Council tenants and one Sheltered Housing scheme are set to see benefits from intelligent housing technology to give real-time insights into property health and condition, measuring temperature and humidity to identify potential damp issues, allowing providers to fix any issues in advance. This should reduce maintenance costs and better support tenants.

Further sensors will be deployed across two schools and a care home to monitor water system conditions and water health, while ensuring ongoing compliance. The trial will allow potential efficiencies to be identified, such as reducing the need for employees to travel to check water outlets, making better use of resources.

Using the results, trends and efficiencies from the trials, the council can create business cases for future investments and evaluate how they can digitally transform services to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

“Our Digital Strategy 2020-2025 set out our priorities and commitments to optimising digital technology to improve our organisation, enable economic growth, support the environment and benefit citizens and communities,” said Philip McKay, project sponsor at Aberdeenshire Council. “The North IoT Accelerator Packs presented us with the ideal opportunity to test and evaluate smart technologies that could potentially transform council services on a small scale, before committing to large-scale investment. We are excited about the results these pilots could potentially deliver.”

David Ruthven, sales director at North, added: “The project with Aberdeenshire Council underlines the extent of benefits available from IoT technology truly transforming they ways in which people live and work. Aberdeenshire Council will now have access to a range of data which will allow them to make informed decisions that improve services across the region. Citizens and employees, and the communities in which they live, are extremely important to the council and, through these data, it will be able to transform the way it delivers services and provides information to improve the lives of those within its region while driving forward its sustainable ambitions.”

North is working with councils and organisations across Scotland, giving access to its IoT Accelerator Packs through trial projects. With access to the Scottish government-backed national IoT network, IoT Scotland, which is also hosted by North, the organisations involved can investigate and evaluate the power of IoT technology.