High Rise Housing or High Rise Living Accommodation as it is often referred to has been a major part of the social housing plan in the UK since the early 1960’s.
It is estimated that during that decade no fewer than 6,500 blocks (the definition being any building over four storeys) were built, the vast majority between 1963 and 1967. It was hoped that this building programme would help to alleviate housing shortages in high density areas – and London had no fewer than 42% of the high rise blocks, with Glasgow and Birmingham being the two other major population centres to subscribe to the programme.
Although high-rise social housing build has largely ceased in recent times, the popularity of high-rise apartments has continued to grow, and these large living accommodation units fill the skyline of most major cities in the UK.
Challenges for social housing landlords
Window repairs and window maintenance in High Rise blocks can be complicated and expensive. Products installed during the original build, such as windows and doors, are extremely costly to replace due to the need to account for expensive scaffolding or mast climbers.
It is one of the reasons why our solutions to refurbish or regenerate windows in these environments rather than replace them have become so popular
Many High-Rise blocks have been fitted with Tilt & Turn windows or Pivot windows. Sourcing replacement parts can be difficult, but we are very much experts in this and have developed specialist supply chains to enable us to repair Tilt and Turn windows and Pivot windows in high rise environments. This includes us having direct supply relationships with Siegenia, Maco, Roto and other manufacturers of specialist gearing fitted to windows in high rise properties.
Window Repairs and Maintenance should only be carried out by trained operatives who have the correct harnesses and procedures for keeping themselves and residents safe inside and outside the property whilst carrying out this work. Our engineers are fully trained and highly experienced carrying out window repairs in High Rise properties.
Keeping Residents Safe and Warm in High Rise properties
The challenges for residents living in high rise accommodation are far greater than in any other type of housing.
- Due to greater wind pressure on high-rise buildings, it is essential that all doors and windows are regularly maintained with regular lubrication and adjustment to stay within manufacturers tolerances,; most warranties will require this regular maintenance. Small gaps in window compression can create a large draught for a resident in a high-rise property.
- Many residents of high-rise properties are unable to carry out this basic maintenance, so building owners may instead consider an annual service of windows as the best approach.
- Under health and safety legislation, window restrictors are required where there are residents vulnerable to the risk of falling, where they have access to windows, and the windows are at such a height that anybody falling out of them is at risk of sustaining a serious injury. Property owners should consider their residents and the level of restriction required to meet their needs. Children, especially the under-fives, are the most at-risk age group from accidental falls out of windows. Window child lock restrictors can prevent children from falling through windows while still allowing much needed fresh air to circulate. Where restrictors have been fitted, they should be tamper proof and checked to ensure they are still operating correctly.
- High Rise residents often face higher heating costs. Upgrading the window glazing can help minimize the energy consumption through a reduction of solar heat gain in summer or indoor heat loss in winter. On the other hand, the mutual shading caused by surrounding high-rise buildings could affect the energy performance of the window glazing In cold climate, overshadowing lowers the solar heat gain in winter resulting in greater demand for space heating. This increases heating costs for residents.