Friday, December 7, 2018

Testing new technologies in modular housing with Home Group

Northumbria University is collaborating with Home Group, one of the biggest housing associations in the UK, in a new research project on independent living and modular housing.

In this project we will be testing a variety of new technologies, including wearable sensors and video communication. The goal is to explore the potential of future technologies that can support independent living, as well as the infrastructure that will be required. In the project, a multi-disciplinary team will explore the potential for providing digital technology support within modular housing to promote residents’ independence through monitoring connectivity and activity. Our programme of work will involve 4 monthly cycles of technology deployment and evaluation. This innovation and evaluation project will use mixed methods, involving analaysis of data from sensors, qualitative methods, including interviews and observational fieldwork.

The project is carried out in Home Group's Gateshead Innovation Village. In the Innovation Village, the company is testing a number of different modular housing approaches. With these new building techniques, it is possible to build an entire house in a factory and transport the finished structure to the building site, where it is assembled in a single day! Northumbria has been given access to a new modular home for one year, which will be used as a real-world testbed for the duration of the project, with a variety of end-users spending time and living on-site.

The project is led by Professor Glenda Cook from the Department of Nursing with Professor David Kirk (Computer and Information Science) and Professor Lars Erik Holmquist (Design).

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