United House got the green light with this Smart New Homes-sponsored award for its colour-coded online housing refurbishment programme

FLAG is United House’s technological baby – the first online, real-time housing refurbishment programme management system to be set up by a contractor, and as such is a deserving winner in this category. This extremely clever bespoke system logs the progress of every aspect of a housing refurb by breaking down the different stages of work and colour-coding progress using a red-amber-green system. So, for example, only when all the pre-works information is complete and coloured green, can work start on site. Then the system will automatically generate a letter to the tenant informing them of the start date. It will also know when to order the kitchen or bathroom, and do so automatically. The system also tracks customer satisfaction, so it truly works from the start to the end of a project – and has already been a roaring success in London schemes in Islington and Barking and Dagenham. Smart stuff. 


Bowey Homes

This Gateshead housebuilder wanted to have the most user-friendly website possible – after all, that’s how many people choose their homes these days. But how do you know what people want from a website? That’s when Bowey decided to ask its customers, and from their feedback developed one of the best housebuilder’s sites on the web. A survey form now asks what people want from a home, and this informs the design, construction and marketing of Bowey’s homes. There’s also an online options facility for customers to choose their perfect finishes, and this will automatically generate an order.


Mansell Partnership Housing has worked out a brilliant way of using a standard Lotus Notes computer program to vastly improve its snagging resolution. Instead of a disjointed customer service where problems might fall between two stools, all calls are logged onto a database that links up with Mansell’s email and calendar system. Emails, photos and documents can be attached, subcontractors are automatically notified, customers are automatically advised of their request’s progress, and the job is done. A completion report is then sent out, and hey presto! No more problems.

Midas homes

This Devon-based housebuilder has come up with a way of saving time, money and effort while promoting subcontractor loyalty by always paying them on time. How? With its whizzy Stage Payment Card system, a computer program that Midas designed and wrote inhouse. This system is operated by the site manager, who is able to certify when certain, pre-agreed stages of work have been completed by the subbie. This means that there is no need for a QS to go out on site and measure quantities and standards of work. And once approved, payment is automatically sent to the subcontractor. Simple but brilliant.