Integration to Strategic Asset Management (SAM) system

Integration of complex data collectors and calculators into a third party asset management system

The problem

In 2016 Northgate Public Services needed to find a solution to replace their existing energy calculator/module within their Strategic Asset Management (SAM) system.

About Northgate Public Services

Northgate Public Services’ supply IT solutions and services to the public sector and are based in the UK and around the world.

One of their flag ship solutions is the provision of Strategic Asset Management (SAM) to public sector housing providers. This solution provides a snap shot of asset value and condition for customers, helping them to streamline compliance and remain focused on the future. Customers can design surveys, input data in bulk and capture information on the move, as well as analyse whole-life costs.

A valuable part of  SAM is the Energy Module which enables customers to accurately capture survey data, download Energy Performance Certificate information and calculate energy ratings. These ratings can then be used for a variety of legislative and reporting purposes, along with modelling the effect of implementing energy efficient measures in the property to achieve the most cost effective results.

The Solution

Elmhurst Digital analysed the requirements and determined that an integrated solution would require data input screens, complex calculators and a central connection to Elmhurst’s online portal (Access Elmhurst) in order to provide a seamless user experience, as such it was important that the solution would be indistinguishable for the user whether using Northgate or Elmhurst functionality.

Another key requirement was to ensure that regular updates to material databases and legislative changes to the input screens and calculators were applied with minimal impact to the user.

Finally, to enable SAM to access online data collected in Access Elmhurst, integration was developed which delivered a full end-to-end workflow allocation solution. This allowed a SAM user to request an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to be carried out by an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA).

The solution we provided delivered the following key functions:

  • Complex data capture screens with full input validation to ensure the accuracy and quality of input data in the SAM Energy Module
  • Complex RdSAP calculation engine capable of producing energy ratings for properties form the input data in the SAM Energy Module
  • Work allocation integration web services to directly instruct a DEA to carry out Energy Assessments on properties from the SAM Energy Module
  • Data retrieval integration web services to import data collected by DEAs along with the EPC direct into the SAM Energy Module
  • Boiler database update via integration web services

The solution was completed in 2016 to enable SAM to capture and calculate energy ratings to the RdSAP 9.92 specification.

In December 2017 Elmhurst Digital delivered new data input screens and an updated calculator to enable SAM to capture and calculate energy ratings to new RdSAP 9.93 specification. Elmhurst Digital are proud to have been able to implement both the original product and the recent legislative update on time and to budget.

Responsive Membership Portal

Improvement to an existing Online application, improvements included new branding and upgraded to be mobile friendly

The problem

The Access Elmhurst online membership portal is used by thousands of users on a daily basis. In the past users have had to tolerate an ageing design, a layout which was not responsive and did not adhere to the Elmhurst corporate standards.

Elmhurst required the portal to be reworked, made responsive and re-branded with the correct corporate identity.

The solution

Working with the Elmhurst business units, the project was undertaken to implement a phased approach to delivery starting with the initial login screen. By taking each part of the portal and working in an agile way, this long term project has delivered significant improvements to whilst at the same time remaining on time and to budget.

Mobile Data Capture and Calculation Tool

Complex data collection application for energy assessors- for use on iOS and Android devices.

The problem

The existing RdSAP Go mobile survey application was a HTML5 application deployed using PhoneGap to target iOS and Android platforms. This presented number of technical issues, with performance and the inability to utilise device hardware being key failings.

Elmhurst required the application to be recreated on each platform to provide a professional user experience and make use of device camera to allow for the capture of photographic evidence for quality audits.

The solution

The applications were developed using agile methodologies ensuring that stakeholders received the product they wanted and expected. The project also integrated the RdSAP complex calculator in the application.

The applications are deployed using native code and a Xamarin.

Both applications (iOS and Android) were delivered on time and to budget.

Mobile photo capture application

An evidence capture application with inbuilt Geocoding for use on iOS and Android Devices

The problem

Traditional photographic evidence collection was performed by assessors using camera devices not connected to Elmhurst back office systems. Using a standard digital camera or smart phone generates many images which becomes cumbersome for the user to sort out when a particular survey is called for audit. A system was required which would organise, label and geocode images which could then be stored in back office systems, instantly available for auditors to access.

The solution

A new application was developed for both iOS and Android devices which enabled users to take images in an organised manner. Photographs are grouped by property, and categorised by a simple and ingenuous one click mechanism.

Additional features such as:

  • geocoding (to confirm images are taken are the stated property)
  • helper mode to enable one handed operation (useful if on ladders or accessing awkward items such as glazing thickness)
  • use of Android intents to simply data transfer
  • annotation dictionary

all ensure that the application delivered for the users.

Schematics drawing tool

To allow quick and effective drawings to add value to reports

The problem

Legionella Risk Assessors are required to produce a schematic drawing of the buildings water infrastructure. In the past assessors would hand draw a schematic diagram, which leads to variable quality and when these hand drawn schematics are embedded into the Risk Assessment report the end result is not professional.

The solution

A simple drag and drop tool based on a grid system was developed to allow a user to quickly model a buildings water infrastructure.

Key features:

  • Simple drag and drop
  • Grid based layout
  • Comprehensive icon palette
  • Hot and Cold pipes
  • Full test annotation
  • Full integration into final assessment report