House Building 1,898 views Feb 05, 2018
Ageing housing stock stands proud in 21st Century

Failing roofs, car parks and walkways are a fact of life. However, when this vital infrastructure forms part of a well-populated social housing development, failure to address deteriorating pathways and the like before major damage sets in can lead to huge expense for the local authority involved.  With council purse-strings tightened like never before it’s possible the cost of pricey refurbishment projects will be passed to the taxpayer, so it’s in all our interests repairs are carried out quickly and with minimal disruption. Dave Maginnis, Managing Director at BriggsAmasco explains what the solution to the issue of upgrading the UK’s rapidly ageing social housing stock and surrounding infrastructure is?

In England there are around 2.5 million housing association tenants. With a national waiting list for social housing now at 1.36 million households or 3.4 million people, the need to maintain authority-owned buildings to the highest possible standard is more apparent than ever.

For more than 150 years leading waterproofing and roofing contractor, BriggsAmasco, has been applying practical and technical expertise to a range of new and existing building requirements. This experience and skill is needed like never before with current figures showing one-fifth of Britain’s housing stock is more than 100-years-old. With many of these ageing buildings now in need of regeneration, it’s vital to choose products and systems that deliver long term performance for the client, and in a social housing context, that means a fast application for the contractor and minimal disruption to the residents.

Housing stock given thermal blanket

BriggsAmasco offers a broad range of waterproofing solutions for roofs, walkways, balconies and car parks. Renowned for providing full-proof, cost effective solutions to new and existing projects nationwide ensured the company was specified as Principal Contractor by Aberdeen City Council to upgrade weather tightness and thermal performance in its stock of more than 20,000 properties. The company supplied and installed a complete build up system comprising Icopal Monarplan single ply, 120mm insulation and Technatorch vapour control layer. Combining excellent thermal performance and airtight construction, the system has helped to reduce the buildings’ carbon footprint whist ensuring high quality waterproofing protection. Aberdeen City Council provides affordable housing for nearly 25,000 families and so it was important BriggsAmasco ensured minimal disruption was caused to council residents whilst also meeting strict health and safety regulations. By appointing BriggsAmasco for the installation, the council and its residents were guaranteed a high performance roofing system that will perform for many years to come.

Building a path to better walkways

Social housing refurbishment can achieve a range of desired results such as improving a structure’s aesthetics as well as shoring up its safety and potentially extending its lifetime. The same outcome is required of the surrounding infrastructure as council-owned walkways or pavements can be a huge drain on public resources if not properly maintained. Figures revealed councils in England paid out more than £82m in compensation over a five-year period to people who tripped on pavements or walkways. It is therefore vital these public paths are hazard-free to ensure damage limitation to public and council alike. BriggsAmasco helped breathe new life into an ageing and dilapidated walkway at a social housing complex in Hull. The surface of Wilberforce Walkway had suffered water ingress for a number of years due to it becoming beset with cracks and uneven surfaces. It led to trip hazards and uncomfortable walking conditions for nearby residents. Requiring comprehensive refurbishment to return it to its very best, BriggsAmasco applied an asphalt installation to the walkway, comprising 15mm Permapark Waterproofing layer and 25mm one coat Permapark Paving layer with a crimped finish. It ensured the new Wilberforce Walkway will provide social housing residents with long-term safe and reliable access.

The cost of ignoring surface danger

Failing public surfaces are not only a danger to people; machines can suffer too. Compensation pay outs are not limited to drivers whose cars have been damaged by a pot-holed road or highway; poorly maintained car parks can also result in a hefty repair bill for motorists. This is invariably passed on to the car park’s managing authority leading to an expense claim which could run to several hundred pounds; unnecessary expenditure, especially if the authority happens to be a cash-strapped local council or hospital. In such cases an urgent solution is required if a car park used by hospital visitors, staff, patients or social housing residents shows signs of disrepair. BriggsAmasco was appointed to replace a car park designed to serve housing association tenants in Southampton city centre that was causing damage to the structure and vehicles parked below due to surface leakage. With just six weeks to complete the project and the car park in operation throughout, the company installed 2500m2 of Permapark mastic asphalt waterproofing and surfacing system. BriggsAmasco ensured there was no disruption to residents during renovation which helped return the roof car park to its functional best.

There is nothing anyone can do to halt time’s inexorable march, but BriggsAmasco has a variety of quality, cost-effective solutions to ensure the future survival of Britain’s ageing social housing stock and infrastructure.