Dulux Trade Colour Experts Brighten Lives in Social Housing Transformation

The Dulux Trade Commercial Colour Services team has been hailed for their expert design support on a council owned social housing regeneration programme that saw residents take a lead role in decision-making.

The initiative by Exeter City Council followed the principles of their Better Homes For Local People strategy that promises full and transparent consultation and involvement with those affected by building and renovation projects from the outset.

The process ensures there must be support from social housing residents for proposals at every stage of the process - placing them at the heart of decisions about the ongoing management and future of their estates.

It’s a core element of the council’s ambition to deliver better homes and communities around Exeter.

John Harris, from Exeter Council, was instrumental in defining the objectives of the regeneration project whose main objective was to boost the wellbeing of residents and the wider community by breathing new life into the buildings, at the same time as injecting a sense of connection with the outside space, through the use of exterior colour.

nd so, a collaborative taskforce of Exeter Council, contractors CLC Group and the Dulux Trade team - led by AkzoNobel Specifier Development Manager Bob McLellan - set itself a project to replace the existing magnolia and brown palette of a number of properties for their residents with something more uplifting.

A range of schemes were devised to optimise space, improve aesthetics, and help to promote better outcomes for residents, who collaborated in the project and were invited to choose the one they liked best.

The result was an enrichingcolour palette featuring cool whites and a range of nature inspired blues and greens, mixed with contemporary greys. 

As part of the process the Dulux Trade team considered Exeter Council’s entire social housing stock in a bid to ensure the schemes can be used to streamline future maintenance programmes as well.

At the request of Exeter City Council the work was timed to coincide with the general maintenance of the properties to keep disruption for residents down to a minimum.

The initial phase started with the exterior works, which were completed using the newly upgraded Dulux Trade Weathershield range.

The interior phase will be completed at an appropriate point in the near future, which will see the internal walls, doors, ceilings and handrails redecorated, using products including Dulux Trade Pyroshield, Dulux Trade Quick Dry Gloss and Dulux Trade Diamond Satinwood to further enhance their environmental credentials.

Contractor Wayne Cavilla from CLC Group explained: “Our task is to bring enhancements to properties during our fabric maintenance and upgrades, and the right colours and designs are crucial to this and so this is where we got Dulux Trade involved. We asked them to rethink the approach and design a completely new colour scheme.

“The Dulux Trade team carried out site visits, they took photographs, and we gave them selections of the type of pre-finished items we could get, the types of windows and the types of doors etc, while they provided us with bespoke product specification.”

The Dulux Trade Commercial Colour Services team initially created colour schemes influenced by the building's exterior fixtures. But, due to lack of availability of windows and doors over the first Covid lockdown, new specifications had to be made and the team were able to pivot and quickly adapted the schemes in line with the newly specified windows and doors.

Wayne added: “As part of the process the team took photos of the houses and overlaid the colours onto them digitally so we could see what the designs would look like on the actual property. The residents loved it because they could see their home and how it would look in all these different colours.”

Both residents and Exeter City Council praised the Commercial Colour Services team for the results.

Wayne continued: “A lot of the project’s success is down to Dulux Trade, their approach and professionalism.”

Dawn Scott, Commercial Colour Consultant at AkzoNobel, said: “The colour of a person’s house, internally and externally, can have a transformative effect on their mood and wellbeing.

“A holistic approach was adopted for this project by looking at the full property portfolio including all products being upgraded, from the roof tiles, windows and doors to the fencing and pathway aggregates. Subsequent colour schemes were created to standardise and streamline the maintenance programme for the council, whilst still giving an element of choice to residents.

“Steering away from featureless colours, we were able to come up with a number of well-considered and uplifting designs which the council then collaboratively approved with their residents.

“It was essential that the residents were able to have a say over what colours their house would be painted, and we’re delighted with the positive feedback we’ve received from both residents and Exeter City Council.”

For more information on the support the Commercial Colour Services team can provide visit our Occupant Centred Colour and Design Hub.