Selecting an emergency call system for my site: where should I start?

Licensed or registered assisted living housing, comfort apartments, 2nd homes or a site with a mix of living quarters? Quite a number of sites are currently equipped with an emergency call system or offer buyers the option to implement such a system in the future.

The increasing offer of assisted living housing has only reinforced the demand. As a project developer or managing institute, you will soon find out that there are dozens of systems and that it is rather difficult, or sometimes even impossible to compare them correctly. For instance, there are a number of nurse call systems available, developed specifically for nursing facilities or hospitals, which have no added value for the residential market. The apartment that should give you a warm home feeling, is then suddenly stained with an apparent white or grey appliance with a red/green button and speaker.

It is therefore important to answer the following questions in a timely manner (during concept phase / plan phase):

  1. Would I like to implement a system covering the complete building (parking and garden included) or only the apartment itself?
  2. Does the system have to be present from day 1 in all apartments, or is it adequate that buyers (e.g. for comfort apartments) can start using the emergency call system the moment they really need it?
  3. What if a power failure occurs on site. Should emergency calls still be forwarded for a certain time, or not?
  4. Which connection do I prefer to envision (care centre, home nursing, healthcare provider, digital concierge, …) and is this connection included in the quote of the supplier or do I, as building manager, have to take care of this myself?
  5. Is it sufficient to have a speak-listen connection for the emergency calls, or do I also require a message service (push-notifications) on the smart phone of the nursing central operator, family member,…
  6. Would I mind – as indicated previously – staining the living space by a stigmatizing nurse call system or do I knowingly select an integrated solution?
  7. Should my emergency call system also communicate with the living environment of the senior citizen? In short: is it important that upon an emergency call the cooker is extinguished, all lighting is switched on, the television and any other sound source is switched off, to enable an optimal speak-listen connection, …?
  8. Do I select a cabled fixed emergency call button in the bathroom or do I prefer to have the flexibility to install a wireless button in a spot which is easy to reach for the senior citizen, whichever disability he or she might have?
  9. Finally… would I like to be able to monitor the system remotely to give me peace of mind as a developer, building manger, famility member or senior citizen, …?

As you will observe, selection is a difficult process. IPBuilding supplied already dozens of sites with an integrated non-stigmatizing emergency call system as well as sites in which apartment buyers wish to implement the emergency call system in a later phase. You are welcome to request our assistance to explore the best solution for your site together.

You can contact us via sales@ipbuilding.com or directly on the number: +32 (0)493 47 20 32.



More security thanks to an intelligent housing automation

Did you invest in elegant and charming garden lighting, but struggle a few times a year with the correct settings? Daytime is getting longer or shorter and the lighting does not adapt accordingly? Or were your lights switched on in the evening even if it was still light, just after the switch of the daylight saving time? … This could harm your safety and attract the attention of burglars.

Extra security

Experts all agree, we are rapidly evolving to an automated living environment in which appliances and systems can communicate with each other. On top of the exterior front wall lighting, our contemporary homes are increasingly illuminated next to the drive way, in the garden, patio or at the gates. This does not only enhance the right ambiance, look and feel but also provides you with extra comfort upon arriving or leaving your home in the dark. In addition, it contributes to your security and could protect you from a possible burglary.

Inferior lighting settings could lead to higher energy costs, and could also give the impression that the inhabitant is not at home or absent for a longer period. Next to lighting we encounter more and more installations of camera’s, movement sensors and automated fences around the house. All these functionalities and appliances can be installed, consulted and managed separately. Generally this is rather complex, and comprises a security risk – hacking of your security cameras comes to mind – and often an inhabitant is hardly able to modify the system himself.

Kris Pensaert (Managing Partner IPBuilding): “Via a user-friendly platform the owner can determine when to illuminate the exterior lighting at night time. This is no longer depending on the actual time, but on the remaining sunlight. This is comparable to the automated illumination in a car when the dusk sets in. This allows for a constantly perfect performance of all  functionalities, even when you are on holiday or when daylight saving time changes.”

If you integrate such functions and appliances in a modern smart home, you can enjoy all these advantages. IPBuilding is an innovative Belgian company specialized in the research and development of technology for Smart Homes, Smart Buildings and Smart Care. IPBuilding enables all functionalities to communicate with each other. For instance, the meteorological station on the roof can communicate with the sun screens (all up if too much wind, screens at the south side go down if too much sunshine during summer …), and can equally exchange information with the lighting.

The platform (IPBGeneral) is based on the Internet Protocol (IP), the world-wide norm for sound, video and data transfer. This provides the owners of an IPBuilding Smart Home with a living environment that is future-proof. It allows them to manage athmospheres and scripts  (for example: all-off, holiday regulation, off to work,…) and all functionalities (lighting, heating, screens, video surveillance, sensors, ventilation…) can be controlled remotely and/or from their residence. In brief, the ideal solution that provides the inhabitant with more comfort, security and a solid saving on energy!



Immobel sets sail with IPBuilding for project O’Sea

Project developer Immobel carried out the project O’Sea  in Ostend, the queen of Belgian seaside towns, at a marvelous location, i.e. at 30m of the embankment and beach, near to a nice shopping and hospitality area of Mariakerke and the bustling center of Ostend. O’Sea consists of three living units: family houses, apartments and assisted living homes. This poject is comprised of 167 living quarters in total including the eye-catching residential tower of 56 apartments.

For the exploitation of the 50 assisted living homes Immobel selected Solidariteit voor het Gezin which also  already manages a nursing home in the neighborhood. ‘Solidariteit voor het Gezin’ will guarantee an optimal concept with its healthcare provider, to respond to the unique needs and requirements of each inhabitant.

Michael Van Buggenhout (IPBuidling): “Solidariteit voor het Gezin will be able to use óne integrated solution – as in several other projects – including video surveillance, ICE call emergency call system and access control. This incorporates user-friendliness and safety flawlessly for the healthcare provider ánd its future inhabitants.”

The healthcare provider and inhabitants will also be able to use the care technology of IPBuilding  Indeed, Immobel decided to install the assisted living homes with the non-stigmatising ICE Call emergency call system of IPBuilding. The system can make a speak & listen call from whichever space in the building to the nursing central operator. In this instance IPBuilding ensures this with a link to the Z-Plus nursing central. On top of the emergency call system, inhabitants can also manage the video surveillance via the 10 inch touch screen. Moreover IPBuilding and integrator Nextel also supply an integrated access control system.

More info on this project via: https://www.o-sea.be/fr/

Do you also develop assisted living homes or life-long housing apartments? Feel free to contact us via m.vanbuggenhout@ipbuilding.com or 0493/47.20.32.



Plenus Vitae: Artenys develops a new living concept with Smart Living technology of IPBuilding

The project developer Artenys from Ghent focuses on the development of residential estates in the suburbs. The inhabitants and their living quality is at the heart of their research along with the execution. The residential estate Bergbos is a nice example, which is in full progress in Merelbeke.

Paul Van Audenhove (Artenys): “At the residential estate Bergbos we chose for different living units, with a mixture of spacious “urban villa” apartments, apartments for starter homes, etc. On top of that we also established a care concept with distinct solutions called “Plenus Vitae’.

Plenus Vitae, or ‘full of life’ , is an intentionally chosen concept that will foresee a permanently present park manager or concierge at the estate on top of accessible and modern technology. It goes without saying that all apartments are organised for life-long living to offer not only services but also appropriate care whenever required.

Life-long living

Artenys scouted for an innovative partner to comply with the technological aspect of this unique story and also found this at IPBuilding. IPBuilding conceived several smart buildings at the site, together with the integrator Nextel, with smart apartments that can adapt technologically according to the needs and requirements of each individual inhabitant. Obviously this is available at the care center, but also in the other units to ensure that the inhabitants can rely on a real life-long residence, which could be linked digitally to the care center and its accompanying services now or in the future.

Inhabitants of the smart apartments can make use of a central touchscreen on which all techniques in the apartment can be managed. It allows the inhabitant to control lighting, heating, sun screens… Additionally they have an innovative emergency call system that functions in the whole building, wherever they are. Access to the site and the individual apartment does not have to mean you need your (standard) doorkeys. Inhabitants can instead use a badge, user-friendly and extremely secure.

The assistance by the on-site park manager is supplemented by a digital service pack. Artenys relies on the Digitale Woonassistent for this. The software of Digitale Woonassistent is also accessible via the touchscreens at hand in the apartments. This guarantees a constant attainable assistance. This new approach ensures that excellent living conditions and services go hand in hand. This innovative concept with care/services on demand and a park manager allows us to answer the real needs of inhabitants at a significantly lower price (up to 60%) in comparison to the classically certified service residences.

Together with integrator Nextel, IPBuilding created smart living units at the residential estate Bergbos in which inhabitants can manage all techniques at the apartment via one integrated touch screen. Techniques such as lighting, video, atmospheres, scenario’s, ALL OFF function, heating, steered sun screens, etc. IPBuilding also integrated an extremely secure badge access system to replace the classical doorkeys.

“The apartments at the care center will of course be equipped with our innovative emergency call system. Important to know: the living units that are not located within the care center can nevertheless also be equipped now or in the future with the same system. So, we can conclude that this is a real life-long living concept,” stated Michael Van Buggenhout of IPBuilding.

Would you like to know more about our smart care solutions? Feel free to contact us via m.vanbuggenhout@ipbuilding.com or 0493/47.20.32.



Smart Second Homes. Manage a second home smartly, locally and remotely

The purchase of a second home remains attractive for many Belgians. Primarily to enjoy it themselves during a good part of the year, perhaps also to rent it out, and eventually occupy it permanently. Smart Living technology has found its way to second homes and offers a substantial surplus.  Because second homes are usually not occupied permanently, local and remote management of your second home, such as managing heating, ventilation, security, energy reduction and access control, is an absolute must.

Comfort

Owners of a second home are looking for comfort. A second home should therefore also provide carefree living, or a getaway from hectic life. If, for example, you arrive at your apartment at the Belgian seaside, you would of course like to immediately start your (long) weekend without having to waste time to ready the apartment. In a smart living concept you can remotely set the apartment ‘active’. Sunscreens, ventilation, heating, lighting and even multimedia can be activated in advance to obtain a fitting ‘welcome sphere’. Upon arrival, all techniques can also be managed via your own smartphone, tablet or via the touchscreen installed at the apartment.

All of this is realized by IPBuilding, an innovative Flemish entrepreneur for Smart Living technology. IPBuilding produced a user-friendly IP based platform in which all techniques and devices are combined and allow easy exchange of information.

Diego Bradt (IPBuilding): “Smart living technology is a real surplus for second homes. To be able to manage all techniques locally and remotely is indispensable. By opting for the internet protocol (IP) as a project developer, you also succeed in making future proof apartments.”

Security

Security is crucial for temporary housing. Through a combination of window contacts, badge readers, intelligent smoke detectors and an innovative integrated access control system, IPBuilding offers solid follow up of inhabitants, renters and cleaning staff / suppliers.  Video surveillance can also be part of this mix. With push-notifications the apartment could also keep you informed, whether you are the owner or the building manager.

 

Forgot your keys? No problem, with the IPBuilding solution the owner of the apartment can give access and open the door(s) remotely. A cleaning service that is planned on each Thursday morning for a few hours? Likewise, they can enter the apartment with a unique badge, programmed to only access during that time. This gives the owners and/or managers a perfect overview of who enters and leaves the second home.
The smart building technology of IPBuilding can be extended with an ICECALL-emergency call system. This system can supply an emergency call button in the bathroom, on the touchscreen and via a wrist/neck transmitter . This can be linked to a care service, a care center in the area, a professional or informal health care provider or a family member. IPBuilding provides you with a real life-long housing apartment. Owners can keep on enjoying their second home during the autumn of their life, in which they might be living permanently at this time.

Would you like to create a smart second home?

To benefit from the unlimited possibilities of the Internet Protocol (IP), modern (UTP)  cabling is crucial. Our specialists gladly assist you during the concept phase with the project developer and/or client. Contact us via : d.bradt@ipbuilding.com or +32 (0)497 28 04 77.



Life-long housing, more than a trend

Real estate experts are predicting a massive shift in housing trends in 2018. Flemish Architect Leo Van Broeck talks about a hybrid future with compact homes or – better still – apartments. Apartments will become roughly 10% smaller and will no longer be fitted with a traditional boiler. Geothermal networks will emerge. Technologies are changing rapidly and this means that many project developers choose to design and build apartments so they can be adapted throughout your lifetime.

 

Smart Assisted Living
Life-long housing immediately makes you think of wider door frames, eliminating steps and a number of often stigmatising features, such as braces and handlebars. But nothing could be further from the truth, as a combination of smart technology and modern wiring enables project developers to offer smart living apartments whose technology can adapt to its residents’ needs and requirements. This is not a first for Belgian hardware and software manufacturer IPBuilding as it has completed over 1,300 construction projects in the meantime.

Kris Pensaert (IPBuilding): “Most people who buy apartments are over 50 and this generation is very much aware of the life-long nature of their new home. That is why more and more project developers increasingly opt for the concept of Smart (Assisted) Living.”

“Today, IPBuilding is creating Smart Living residential environments that combine all technologies into a single digital platform. Residents can control the lighting, multimedia, sun blinds, security, access, and more from a touch screen in their home, but also remotely via a tablet or smartphone. This provides more comfort, greater security and reduced energy consumption,” says Michael Van Buggenhout of IPBuilding. We find that a person’s needs and requirements change as they age. Ease of use, safety and increased monitoring become of greater concern. “When the need arises, we can add assistive technology to the already present IPBuilding Smart Living system, without the need for demolition or construction works. One example of this involves adding an intelligent emergency call system. Elderly residents can use a wireless alarm button, a button on the touchscreen or a neck/wrist strap to easily contact a person of their choice. This can be a family member, but also a professional healthcare provider such as a home nurse.”

In other words, after years of enjoying the benefits of Smart Living, residents can seamlessly transition to Smart Assisted Living. IPBuilding also developed a custom layout for and together with elderly people, which is now successfully used in various Smart Assisted Living projects and in different residences consisting of assisted living housing.

Tailored to the target group
Many property developers who build and sell apartments have already incorporated the concept of ‘life-long housing’ into the design of their projects. “Property developers realise that Flemish people want to continue to live at home for as long as they can. Most people who buy apartments in Flanders are over 50. Providing assistive technology in apartments is no longer optional, it has really become a necessity to make projects successful.”

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De Linden, smart assisted-living flats in the spotlight

ZorgAndersTV made two reports on Smart Assistance homes. This time, the reporters of ZorgAndersTV visited the De Linden Assisted living flats in Kapellen (Antwerp). The people behind this initiative, psychologist Yo Buyens and architect Pieter Goffin, built 17 flats there, with a surface area ranging from 67 m² to 111 m².

“The building is very bright and we really wanted to create the feeling that this is a normal flat, and not an assisted living flat,” says Pieter Goffin. “The flat needs to adapt to its occupant’s care needs. That is why we also started looking for a suitable solution to make the assisted living flats ready for the future.” The promoters eventually opted for IPBuilding and turned their apartment building into a real Smart building. All controls such as for lighting, heating, screens, and others are operated via a touchscreen. Also, residents can make emergency calls via the same system, together with movable push buttons and a push button/necklace that residents can take with them. Home nurse Jan Van Gils, who provides care in De Linden, experiences the added value of IPBuilding’s Smart Care solutions. “When a resident of De Linden places a call, I immediately get a message on my phone about who is contacting me and where that person is located inside the flat. I can also communicate with the resident, via a high-quality two-way communication system. At the same time, the TV switches itself off, so I can better understand the person. To ensure the residents’ safety, the hob is also automatically switched off, the temperature of the floor heating is raised and all of the lights in the apartment are switched on.”

Controlled remotely

In addition to the benefits for residents and nurses, the Smart Care system also offers numerous benefits for the building manager. Peter Goffin and Yo Buyens can monitor the entire building remotely. This includes building access and access to the individual apartments and common area, camera surveillance, temperature monitoring, and more. Salveto has also selected IPBuilding’s Smart Care solutions for the other new projects in the pipeline (incl. in Kalmthout and Mariaburg).



Smart Home Systems, more than a trend

Trend watchers agree: smart home systems have become an indispensable part of our society in which The Internet of Things is increasingly becoming a reality. The need for intelligently-connected systems continues to increase. Over the last decade, Internet Protocol (IP) has become the global standard for data, image, speech, services and communication between technologies with smart devices in homes and buildings. In addition to the almost organic growth, there is also the ever-stricter legislation on water and energy consumption that requires more rational consumption in order to reduce costs. Another irreversible social change is the ageing population, leading to an acute lack of care facilities. Active senior citizens want to live independently as long as possible in a safe and comfortable environment. However, many people will not be able to physically cope with continuing to live in a house that is not adapted to their age and needs.

Successful solutions

In order to anticipate the future, IPBuilding developed integrated all-in IP solutions for Smart Homes, Smart Buildings and Smart Assisted Living. In practice, this is a single, integrated information network, both wired and wireless, creating an interconnected environment for data, images, speech, automation and communication. All smart technologies and devices are combined into a single, easy-to-use platform. The solutions increase comfort, efficiency and safety, lead to energy savings and optimise communication.

Smart Homes & Buildings in practice

IPBuilding makes sure that all devices are able to communicate within a single, easy-to-use software platform. Unlike traditionally wired push buttons or sensors, these buttons and sensors not only control the predetermined lighting, but, if desired, also the heating, ventilation, sun blinds, multimedia and all kinds of automated features. The features can easily be changed via the software, without the need for rewiring, demolition or construction work.

User-friendly and flexible

The system can be used by way of push buttons, sensors and touch screens. The information is displayed on the touchscreen, smartphone, tablet or computer and is so clear and intuitive that anyone can get the hang of it in no time, even residents who are less well-versed in recent IT trends.

Link with platforms

IPBuilding solutions have been developed in an open source and brand-independent manner, on the IP protocol, which guarantees that they are future-proof. As everything is programmed using the IP protocol, users can choose from a variety of products and brands for switches, screens and modules and they can be sure that their application will still be supported in the future. The systems are also modular and easy to expand on later. Links between the interfaces of various care and service platforms can be created smoothly, which means that the services and cooperation of IPBuilding are very interesting.