THE GATEWAY TO BROWNHILLS
Following its adoption of former Walsall Council housing stock in 2003, social housing provider (whg) Walsall Housing Group carried out a formal review identifying areas for improvement, demolition and regeneration. One such area was Brownhills High Street; the gateway to the town.
The existing buildings – a number of low-rise, concrete apartment blocks with deck access built in the 1960s, were marked for demolition in 2008/9; these formed the entrance to the High Street. Once demolished, the land gave way to a significant regeneration scheme, a statement project welcoming people to the ‘new Brownhills’.
Select Windows was appointed to deliver the new windows as part of a new build scheme, in partnership with the principal contractor, Mansell Construction Services Limited.
Phase one comprised the building of 47 two-bed apartments in High Street, funded by whg, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and Walsall Council. In response to local housing need the £4.2 million scheme included four properties specially designed for people with disabilities. A number of the homes were also offered for intermediate rent – where the landlord charges a rent less than the market rate. This was a first for whg.
Over 300 new Profile 22 casement windows A rated completed the 47 apartments. Coloured Gale Grey the windows complement the striking purple façade and cream render; crucial when creating a statement development such as this.
An additional 33 homes were completed under the £3.5 million Phase Two of the regeneration programme, on High Street and Ogley Road. These included 20 two-bedroom apartments and 13 houses; four of which were available for sale (three-bedroom), with the remaining nine available under the Affordable Rent scheme; six three-bedroom and three two-bedroom houses.
A further 249 casement windows A rated were installed in the 33 homes, once again contributing to the overall performance of the build and helping to create comfortable and affordable living spaces for the residents. 11 sets of French doors, 17 balcony screens and 13 composite entrance doors were also supplied and installed.
Alan Watts, regeneration manager at whg, said: “We are committed to meeting local housing need, and providing high-quality, affordable accommodation.
“For this development we needed windows which offered a high specification in respect of reducing noise, so we chose Profile 22. The process went smoothly and installation went well on site and the project was completed on time.”
12 months on, and whg are pleased with the results, “We are coming to the end of our defects period and it is proving to be a successful development. It has been well received, which is good for whg and our customers, and we’ve had good feedback. It’s all been very positive.
“Most telling is the fact during the defect period we have had no voids, all of our residents in the Brownhills development are content and settled,” said Alan.
Gary Wylde of Select Windows said: “The pressure to use a sustainable supply chain whilst including residents throughout the works and maintaining best value is a difficult balance for social housing providers. As a local company, with the backing of Mansell Construction Services Limited and Profile 22, we have worked closely with whg to ensure all the boxes are ticked and the residents can now benefit from more energy efficient homes.”
Select Windows is an Approved Window Contractor of Profile 22, the UK’s leading profile manufacturer. The fabricator was selected by Mansell Construction Services Limited due to their locality, extensive social housing related experience and a commitment to quality accreditations and recycling initiatives.
Andrew Reid, Profile 22 Commercial Sales Director, concluded: “The works programme at Walsall Housing Group is an excellent example of how our approved window contractors work closely with residents and housing teams to meet specific targets. Whether it be for energy efficiency, quality, aesthetics or security, or all of the above, economically viable solutions are always delivered using sustainable supply chains from Profile 22.”