Balconies that promote independent living

It is a fact that balconies are proven to enhance lifestyle and improve wellbeing. An enclosed balcony by Sunparadise, the new name for Windoor balconies, are more useable than a traditional open only balcony, especially in the cooler months of spring and autumn. Housing Association Magazine takes a look at independent living project Vaughan Place in Shropshire, which features Sunparadise’s enclosed system:


About the project

Independent Living (often called sheltered housing) helps customers to enjoy their home environment for as long as possible. It promotes choice and individual control over decisions while giving reassurance about safety and security.

Vaughan Place, Westlands, Wem is designed for this exact purpose; to allow its residents to live independently in their homes for longer. All the properties are designed around a beautiful courtyard area which contains a community room for weekly activities, a boules court and raised flower beds.

Munro Associates were the lead designers during Construction and Detailing and S J Roberts were the Construction Company responsible for delivering the beautiful end product for Shropshire Housing Association.  

Each home is wheelchair accessible, with a lift to first floor flats, scooter charging points and have a personal alarm/pendant for added security.
The scheme allows for one hour of dedicated support every week for the residents to assist with every day activities such as light cleaning duties, help with correspondence, help with going shopping or attending appointments, or reducing loneliness.  

It also features the enclosed balcony system from Sunparadise, installed by McKean Developments Ltd, which offer residents beautiful views from the comfort of their own home.

Balconies whatever the weather

Classed as outside space, every resident can have their own part of the outside world which is both private and secure.  Sunparadise’s system is bespoke so privacy screening & opaque glazing are amongst the many options on offer.  When the balcony is closed it has noise reduction properties of up to 17db which can make a significant improvement to wellbeing in densely populated areas or road and rail side locations.

Occupants of an apartment with an enclosed balcony still have the option to enjoy an open balcony when the weather allows as the system has a unique track which allows all the panels to slide and turn inwards, they are secured safely and discreetly against the inner wall.  These panels mean that in the cooler months of spring and autumn the balcony is still in use as residents can manage their individual comfort levels.  In winter when closed they provide a secondary façade; a buffer zone against the inclement weather.

When open, the bespoke balustrade section complies with 1100mm height regulations.  The upper glazing has a secure locking system which means that it not only provides a barrier to unwanted intrusion, but it provides security for the elderly and a safe place for when grandchildren come to play.

In summary

Stunning in appearance, Sunparadise’s balcony enclosures are perfect for Architects looking to make an impact in both visual aesthetics and functional performance.  

The Property Owner benefits too.  Frequently, experience has shown that a balcony enclosure improves a residents lifestyle to the extent that they take more pride in their home; it is less likely to be neglected and fall into disrepair. A balcony enclosure provides a secondary façade to the main fabric of the building therefore protecting that primary façade, reducing future maintenance costs.  
A happy tenant is a stable tenant; this means that tenant turnover and associated costs are also reduced.

It is well documented that fresh air and natural daylight have health benefits for residents; now they can enjoy it all year round thanks to the Sunparadise enclosed balcony system. The more days they can use their balcony space, the more they benefit.  This additional time spent on the balcony enhances the neighbourhood watch effect, both for their own property and the surrounding grounds.  Energy saving benefits of the system mean real cost saving for residents.  It is environmentally friendly and comfort levels of both the balcony space and internal rooms can be managed effectively.

Design Manager at S J Roberts Neil Jones said: “The Windoor system is a very innovative way of bringing the outside space into use in all weathers. The mechanism is great in its simplicity.”

John Baillie, UK Director, Sunparadise Systems Ltd., commented: “We are really proud that our balconies feature on this stunning development.  South Shropshire Housing have now used them on three separate schemes; a testimony to their satisfaction with our balcony enclosure solution.”

Visit the Sunparadise website