The most significant risk, from your insurer’s point of view, is escape of water. This is because these claims are more frequent, and more costly, than anything else.
Insurers operating in the multi-dwelling space, especially in the build-to-rent market, will give you a discount (typically 5-10%) or a significant reduction in your excess if you install an effective leak-detection and shut-off solution. In some cases insurers won’t cover you at all unless you have one in place.
Sonic is just that – an affordable, WRAS approved, easy to install shut-off device.
There are other operational savings too, because you can direct your maintenance team (automatically if you integrate with our platform) where attention is needed most – and not where it isn’t.
Most estate managers say that our solution pays for itself completely (even without considering the other benefits) in around five years.
Did you know that over 30% of drinking water is lost to leaks worldwide?
In fact London, and many other UK cities have been in ‘water deficit’ (where the requirement for clean water exceeds the available supply) for the last couple of years.
This, along with the climate impact of producing more clean water, has led the government to guide water utility companies and others to significantly reduce leakage from their systems, and to ensure domestic consumption reduces by around 25% over the coming years.
DEFRA and other bodies are enforcing ‘water neutrality’ for many new property schemes, whereby developers have to assure the planning authorities that consumption after occupation will not exceed the consumption before construction.
Sonic, in conjunction with our AI-driven Hydros platform, can show you and your residents how much water individual appliances in their homes are using – is it the shower, the loo, the bath, the washing machine that are using the most?
Saving water – as well as helping us all – helps the bottom line too. Leaky loos in a few flats will cost you or your residents hundreds of pounds each year. Let’s work together to make a difference.
When we think of leaks, we typically imagine a burst pipe or some other ‘catastrophically’ huge escape of water. And obviously you don’t want one of those in a block of flats – a leak on the tenth floor is going to impact the residents on all floors below.
However, it is often the ‘drip-drip-drip’ small leaks that can be the most devastating. You might not notice the small leak under your sink or dishwasher – but over a few months your floor could swell up, your units might be damaged and it’s likely that you’ll have to move out for a period of time whilst your insurer argues with you about who is going to spend that £20k fixing your kitchen.
Sonic detects both these sorts of leaks and is able to shut off the supply immediately so that damage can be avoided and any disruption minimised.
Because it works on a ‘one home at a time’ basis (unlike competing solutions) you won’t suddenly discover that the water has been turned off for the whole floor because of a single leak in a sole property.
Sonic even protects your building during construction – it can work all by itself – on battery power without any connectivity, so if there is a leak or a tap left on at the start of a bank holiday weekend (as has happened on one London construction site recently) you won’t come in on Tuesday to discover millions of pounds worth of damage and delays.
Our partners Aquilar can even incorporate Sonic as part of a comprehensive solution detecting leaks in risers, plant rooms, leisure areas and the common parts of your buildings, giving you total peace of mind.
Look after your residents
Landlords have a responsibility to look after their tenants, as does any company or individual managing a building.
It’s easy, though sometimes expensive and time-consuming, to deal with some hazards and ensure the building is safe. But what about those perils you can’t see?
Legionnaire’s disease is a genuine concern as it can prove fatal. Legionella bacteria could appear in water pipes and elsewhere if the temperature is high and water hasn’t been flowing.
Our Hydros platform can detect where this is a significant risk, thanks to the sensors in Sonic and the machine learning (AI) we use. So we can show you – by means of an alert – if there is an elevated risk of Legionnaire’s disease in a particular home. You can then ensure the system is flushed through before problems appear.
If you work with our partner SmartRent, it can automatically generate a maintenance request for your team with all the relevant information, to make it even easier to get things right.
And of course we can provide you a full report with details of the issue – from alert to resolution – so you can easily demonstrate best practice.
Build an understanding
Usage of water is a terrific, zero-disruption, indicator of how people live. For example, for later living clients, we are able to show on-site carers if someone hasn’t got up and used the toilet or the tap that morning. If they usually do so by 9am, and they haven’t by lunchtime, the carers can then check on them.
Our Hydros platform provides a range of information that can prove useful: for example social landlords are able to find out if there is water usage in properties that are supposed to be empty.
A particular client was astonished to discover that, having seen about ten showers a day being taken in one flat, that eight labourers were living there instead of the elderly couple that had the tenancy. This helped them understand why they had had so many complaints about anti-social behaviour.
Of course most customers need more prosaic information, such as the total usage of water, which helps them re-bill the usage to their tenants.
Providing residents with a clear view of how they use water helps them, in turn to consume less through better behaviours. This could include fewer baths, shorter showers, turning taps off immediately etc.
We can integrate with you using our cloud API, and we offer various BMS drivers if you deal with things locally. Each of these provides clear metrics around usage, alerts and other intelligence. Please speak with our team to see what works best for you.