Residents and visitors across Aberdeenshire are set to benefit from a new Internet of Things (IoT) project which can potentially 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 North, the UK’s leading IoT and solutions provider, 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, smart solutions will see five road temperature sensors installed across the region, increasing the council’s ability to make more informed decisions, such as when to dispatch gritters, and reducing emissions generated by extra trips, while smart waste management solutions 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 improve health and wellbeing for those who live and work in the region. A number of the 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, 13 Aberdeenshire Council tenants and one Sheltered Housing Scheme are also set to see benefits from intelligent housing technology, which will give real-time insights into property health and condition, measuring temperature and humidity to proactively identify potential damp issues, allowing providers to fix any issues in advance, reducing maintenance costs and better supporting 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 trials’ results, trends and efficiencies, the council can create business cases for future investments and evaluate how they can digitally transform services to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
Philip McKay, the Project Sponsor at Aberdeenshire Council, said: “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.
“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 a large-scale investment. We are excited about the results these pilots could potentially deliver.”
David Ruthven, Sales Director – Public Sector at North, said: “The project with Aberdeenshire Council underlines the extent of benefits available from IoT technology – truly transforming how people live and work.
“Aberdeenshire Council will now have access to a range of data, allowing 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 this 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 Internet of Things network, IoT Scotland, which is also hosted by North, the organisations involved can investigate and evaluate the power of IoT technology.