For housing managers, retrofitting new technologies and systems to existing residences is becoming more of a priority as costs come under increasing pressure, and process inefficiencies are tackled. Retrospectively incorporating new technology into older housing stock is an effective solution, bringing immediate benefits to housing managers and tenants without breaking the bank.
Retrofitting is most commonly talked about in relation to decarbonisation. But in addition to environmental considerations, retrofitting new technology can also be beneficial for building security and accessibility. Incorporating new access control technology in existing buildings, for example, can enhance the tenant experience significantly – while also streamlining operations and cutting down any inefficiencies.
Accessibility continues to be an important issue for Housing Associations, helping tenants with a wide variety of needs and requirements to carry out everyday tasks and live more independently. There are, however, still significant gaps in building accessibility across the country. According to figures, 91% of all UK homes do not provide even the lowest level of accessibility , requiring urgent action from the housing industry.
As a detrimental component of a fire door’s performance, it is critical to get the specification of fire door closers correct. Here, Graham Hulland, Product Marketing Manager at dormakaba explains the key requirements and outlines the issues to consider to ensure the product is compliant and fit for purpose.
Fire doors are the first line of defence against the spread of smoke and fire, enabling the safe evacuation of all building occupants. As important as the fire door itself is the door hardware and ironmongery.
The new dormakaba TS 97 FL is a power-adjustable, free swing door closer that allows for easy occupant movement and can be combined with a smoke detector system to act as a hold open device for fire doors.
The FUHR autotronic 834 lock has been added to Carl F Groupco’s suite of SmartSecure electronic door locking and access control solutions. As one of the most important additions to the company’s upcoming 2021 catalogue, the highly versatile hybrid product is a major expansion to the SmartSecure brand. The 834 provides a combination of automatic locking and electronic motor driven unlocking: as such, it is an appealing option that is fully compatible with all existing SmartSecure locking and access control variants.
While Housing Associations have long been shifting towards a more digital way of working, the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified this further, with more housing managers embracing remote working technologies and embedding digital infrastructures and data standards into their everyday processes. But are these systems being used to their full potential? As well as providing the option to log in to a central database from any location, remote management systems can also help streamline operations and crucially, open up mutually beneficial dialogues with tenants.
From appliances to energy management, the role of ‘smart home’ technology continues to expand. Previously only seen in private homes, smart technology is making inroads into affordable housing too. This comes as no surprise to those in the industry, since Housing Associations are already taking advantage of technology for effective asset management or improving tenant comfort and wellbeing.