Tower blocks can pose various problems for social housing providers in terms of security and maintenance, as their high rise, high occupancy nature can make them a challenging environment to manage. But in actual fact, tower blocks can be an effective form of social housing if managed correctly.
The key to achieving a comfortable place for tenants to live is to ensure investment is made in management and security. The social housing tower block should be somewhere that tenants enjoy spending time - like a hotel – where they can walk around and enjoy. Not only would this improve living conditions for the tenants themselves, but it would also create a community feeling as well as a sense of security.
When it comes to specifying building products for tower blocks used for social housing, it is important to invest in design during the early stages of development. If the internal decoration is of a high quality at the beginning, this will mean maintenance cycles are longer and the need to impose on tenants for maintenance work will be reduced. Hard-wearing solutions are therefore key in creating a durable long-lasting finish which will make the interiors look better, for longer.
Colour can also be used to achieve the right atmosphere. For example, Manchester Royal Infirmary has used pastel shades in its maternity ward to create a calm and relaxing environment for mothers and their babies. Studies have shown that this has contributed to an overall improvement in well being throughout the ward. Colour can be used in the same way to create an environment that tenants enjoy. Tower blocks can often have areas of limited light, especially in the hallways, and corridors, so it is important to choose a light fresh colour that will brighten the place up. Paints that contain light reflecting particles can be a great way of improving light in darker areas, as it helps to reflect natural light across a space.
Although there are challenges to high rise living in social housing, the benefits can outweigh these if the right specifications are made. Although durability is important, it is crucial that the design aspect of the interior is not neglected, as the tenants live there on a daily basis and want to take pride in their homes. Getting the balance right between aesthetics and practicality can distinguish successful tower block social housing from the rest.