Occupancy and Safety in High-Density Residential Properties

Origin Housing creates a smart occupancy and residential safety solution with the Rigado Presto Kit.

About Origin Housing

Origin Housing is a UK-based registered social landlord, managing over 6,800 homes in London and Hertfordshire. They provide affordable housing in their communities as well as related care and support services to the people who live in them.

James Berger is the Technology Solutions Manager for Origin Housing, responsible for creating sustainable monitoring and automation capabilities for their properties.


Origin Housing found that in one facility, long term vacancies, or “voids”, resulted in up to $10K per month in lost rent. Often they wouldn’t know if a room was occupied or not because tenants would leave unexpectedly, without making rent payments.

James and his team needed a way to correlate true occupancy with their payment system in order to maximize rental income.

Additionally, Origin Housing wanted to improve the safety and monitoring capabilities of their portfolio. Tracking assets such as fire extinguishers, entrance and exits, and monitoring conditions and air quality would improve the tenant experience and increase rentals. The new Watson Court, adjacent to Watford Stadium, would be the proving ground for a solution based on the Rigado Presto Kit.

The Origin Housing Watson Court, located on the same property as Watford Stadium.


Origin Housing tried a variety of technologies, but found the only way to build a working, scalable solution was with the Presto Kit for Azure IoT. The occupancy sensors, asset tags, and temperature monitors enabled all of the key uses cases they needed to get started. They quickly got dashboards built into IoT Central, and could present the story to their leadership team to expand the pilot to other Origin Housing properties.

The asset tags fit easily onto fire extinguishers. Occupancy, temperature, and humidity sensors were easily distributed across the property to monitor traffic and conditions.

James immediately saw the benefits of a Rigado sensor network using low-energy Bluetooth. “We tried other wireless technologies, but only Rigado had something that worked as a solution out-of-the-box.  We needed something easy to install and support, and the Rigado Cascade Gateway and sensors gave us exactly that.”

Origin Housing also benefitted from the Rigado-Azure IoT integration. Using the Rigado device templates and data exports from IoT Central allowed James and his team to focus on creating valuable data insights for their management team, as well as market the new capabilities to tenants.


A Better Living Experience

Origin Housing is already planning ways to integrate into the MyHive application for their tenants, for example using the temperature data from each room:

Additionally, they have plans to add badges for employees and occupancy monitoring to help staff better manage the properties across the portfolio:

Looking Ahead: The Rigado Swift Kit

Origin Housing started with Presto, then upgraded to become one of the first users of the Rigado Swift Kit for Azure IoT. When they wanted to add more gateways and sensors to their Presto Kit, Rigado made that a seamless process, converting their Presto PoC to a Swift Pilot. Soon they will be adding the C7 employee badge and the S4 door sensor, which are also available with the Swift Kit.

“The Rigado Kit has finally made it possible for solution providers to deliver on the promise of smart and safe buildings. We recommend it for anyone looking to build monitoring and automation on Azure for their commercial properties.” 

–James Berger, Origin Housing

If you want to learn more about the Swift Kit and accelerate your smart spaces project, check it out here!

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