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  • Zach Cook

Grand Union Housing Group Rolls Out Innovative Automated Light Testing Technology

Innovative automatic monitoring technology from Vericon Systems, a leading provider of innovative building management systems, is helping Grand Union Housing Group to realise the true benefits and efficiencies of emergency light testing without the need for manual intervention.

It is also helping to provide the Milton Keynes-based housing provider with even greater assurance that it is complying with relevant health and safety legislation, as well as saving money.

As part of the roll out, Grand Union has installed more than 650 of Vericon’s EmeRed devices across 55 buildings in its housing portfolio, including in some new build specifications. EmeRed monitors the performance of every light and automatically transmits the results to Vericon’s online portal. This gives Grand Union complete visibility of the status of individual lights in a single building, as well as performance trends across the entire estate.

EmeRed reports a range of different factors to ensure the lighting is always on the top line, such as battery degradation and energy consumption. It also measures the life outstanding in each battery to ensure they are replaced before an emergency occurs and automatically reports any potential failures or problems.

Cameron Jeffrey, Head of Health Safety and Compliance at Grand Union, says the company is always looking at ways to make their processes more efficient: “Testing emergency lighting equipment is an important responsibility, but manual testing is a time-consuming and therefore costly job. Remote and automated testing, as well as the ability to identify problems before they even arise, provides obvious advantages for us, and helps to ensure we can provide the highest level of service to our customers.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has also had an impact, further helping to highlight the benefits of remote testing: “Like most businesses, the pandemic has had a big impact on our workforce, stopping us from physically sending engineers and maintenance staff out to sites, and forcing us to review our processes, and adopting new technologies like EmeRed”, Cameron continues. “Some of our properties are in remote locations, so eliminating unnecessary travel has been a particularly important saving.

“The roll out has been going well, with a 98% success rate on retrofitting. The biggest advantage has been the complete visibility of the stock. The portal is easy to use, and the monitoring and reporting services are very useful. The Vericon team have a clear passion and understanding for innovation and technology, and the ongoing support and service they have provided has been great.”

The intelligent device, which can be easily retrofitted in a matter of minutes, re-imagines how new technology can be created to improve safety, ensure compliance, and reduce costs.

Bernard Cook, Managing Director at Vericon Systems, says Vericon is pleased to be working with the housing provider: “Grand Union are a genuinely forward-thinking organisation, keen to adopt new technologies and solutions. Thanks to EmeRed’s smart technologies and machine learning to automate their emergency light testing, they are able to see how valuable time and money can be saved.”

Grand Union Housing Group is a not-for-profit organisation providing 12,000 homes for more than 27,000 people across Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Hertfordshire. Its mission is to build more homes, stronger communities and better lives.

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