Velfac composite glazing creates a nurturing, light-filled sheltered housing scheme in Ashford, Kent
PRP is using Velfac composite glazing in a new sheltered housing scheme in Ashford, Kent, which meets head-on the challenges of contemporary care for elderly and vulnerable people and prioritises quality of life.
Farrow Court is a modern, vibrant older people’s housing scheme designed by PRP to enhance quality of life through innovative, thoughtful design. Built in two phases, Farrow Court will eventually comprise 84 care-ready apartments, an eight bed recuperative care centre, 12 independent living apartments for people with learning disabilities, a shop, hairdressers and therapy room, along with an Age UK Community Resource Centre.
The ageing UK population has prompted a need for greater architectural innovation in the design of purpose-built supported living, from sheltered accommodation through to full time residential homes, often with specialist concerns such as dementia-friendly design. Architects must meet these challenges to provide accommodation which enhances quality of life, fully supports residents’ varied needs, and is cost-effective to run.
Velfac composite glazing presented the right solutions for Farrow Court. Having already installed Velfac glazing in extra care projects across the UK, PRP knew the system offered high quality construction representing real value for money, a key priority for client Ashford Borough Council.
Velfac composite aluminium timber glazing is being installed across the development. The low maintenance white painted frames and durable external aluminium are finished in bronze polyester powder coating. The signature slim Velfac frames also allow natural light to flood interior spaces, which was a key concept underpinning Farrow Court design.
Andrew Robson, associate director at PRP said, 'Plentiful natural light is very important in sheltered housing. It positively impacts on residents’ moods and illuminates important areas such as circulation routes, stairs and lift landings.’ Internal warmth and light have been emphasised by the wood frame, with the added comfort of Velfac ‘maxi-handles’ - warm-touch, larger handles deliberately designed for less dexterous users. Window installation ensures residents can enjoy the view, even when seated, 'with carefully positioned mid-rails (in line with Lifetime Homes guidelines) across floor to ceiling glazing to avoid blocking the line of sight,’ added Robson.
Energy efficiency was also vital, and has been achieved with triple and double-glazed Velfac units installed across the building. With U-values as low as 0.8W/m2K, Velfac allowed PRP to meet the project's requirements. ‘Farrow Court had to achieve BREEAM Very Good,’ said Robson. ‘Velfac helped us achieve this target with glazing which met the required U and G values thereby providing the optimal balance of thermal efficiency and solar heat transmittance throughout the building.’ Velfac composite glazing is increasingly specified for supported living projects.
With Secured by Design (SBD) accreditation, Velfac combines contemporary style with specialist functionality to meet the urgent challenges and demands in residential and supported care environments.