Hilson Moran’s expertise helps drive innovative COVID response project

Hilson Moran, in collaboration with DIREK and the University of Surrey, has been granted funding by the UK Government’s Sustainable Innovation Fund, to develop a Smart Indoor Management System (SIMS) to help the UK’s COVID response.

This experimental monitoring technology is designed to work seamlessly across a wide variety of building types and provides a unique, non-invasive insight into occupant behaviour.

The compact transmitters use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons to monitor occupant movement patterns, feeding location and quantity data back to Hilson Moran’s research and development experts.

Unlike similar COVID monitoring technology, seen in countries like South Korea, no handsets, transmitters or mobile apps are required to be carried for effective monitoring to take place. This not only creates a universally compatible monitoring system, but allows user data to remain anonymous; respecting privacy and EU data laws.

When analysed, this data grants a unique insight into building operations during the global pandemic, helping users to maintain social distancing and, ultimately, helping businesses to maximise the number of employees able to safely return to work.

The technology also has significant implications for advancing sustainability credentials, helping building owners to understand user behaviour and subsequently optimise energy consumption, reducing the overall carbon footprint of an operational building.

Initial trials are underway, with 20 BLE beacons currently installed inside the University of Surrey, and Hilson Moran will shortly begin installation of the technology in its offices across the country.

The Sustainable Innovation Fund is funding 1,103 projects and 1,069 UK businesses totalling over £130 million in support across the UK.

Innovate UK Executive Chair Dr. Ian Campbell said: “In these difficult times we have seen the best of British business innovation. The pandemic is not just a health emergency but one that impacts society and the economy.

“Hilson Moran, along with every initiative Innovate UK has supported through this fund, is an important partner in driving forward sustainable economic development. Each one is also helping to realise the ambitions of hard-working people.”

Technical Director and Research and Development lead at Hilson Moran, Ben Abel, added; “we are particularly excited about the lasting implications this technology could have, beyond the initial pandemic response.

“We constantly strive to create greener, more efficient buildings and data around user behaviour is a key driver in understanding, and reducing, energy consumption.”

For more information about the technology involved, please contact Ben Abel.

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