Cellnex connects Casa Bloc – Volume 3: At home
After two years of work on the project, today some of the residents of Llar Casa Bloc social housing open the doors of their new dwellings to tell us about their experience and day-to-day life in these homes which are “connected” to the Internet of Things (IoT).
This is the most important phase of the project that we launched in early 2020 together with Hàbitat 3 Foundation to provide connectivity to a 17-unit complex of social rental housing in the emblematic Casa Bloc building in the Sant Andreu district of Barcelona. The project offers housing solutions to roughly 45 people with scarce resources or facing situations of vulnerability like homelessness, mental health issues, addiction and residential exclusion.
Casa Bloc resident Manel tells us that he chose his apartment number because it coincided with the mythical “14” of footballer Johan Cruyff; Ignacio assures us of his knack for electronics. Anecdotes aside, tenants highlight the usefulness of installations which allow them to track their consumption of the various supplies of electricity, gas and water and to monitor air quality.
“Now, with the initial phase of installation of the various consumption sensors, Wi-Fi and tablets in each of the homes complete, the project really begins”, says Marissa Serrahima, Cellnex ESG Expert.
In addition to reducing energy consumption, improving environmental comfort and anticipating situations of risk, Llar Casa Bloc plays a very important role in bridging the digital divide that usually affects these groups by equipping the buildings with Internet connectivity.
Residents receive training and support from the initiative’s promoter organisations so they can learn to use the tools properly and to visualise and understand readings on consumption, costs and environmental impact. Users also receive empowerment and education with tips, guidelines and clarifications so that this information can become a lever for transforming certain habits in the home.
“At Cellnex we are very satisfied with the evolution of this and other projects to “sensorise” social housing. With these projects, we truly believe that our knowledge and expertise enable us to generate a positive impact in the community and society at large”, concludes Serrahima.