Leading window and door designer, manufacturer and installer CMS Window Systems has completed work on a pioneering housing project in the north-east of England, which offers older and vulnerable residents the opportunity to retain their independence while providing them with the support services they require.
With Northumberland’s population ageing faster than that of England as a whole, the 58 modern apartments in Weavers Court development in Alnwick represent a sea-change in accommodation for older residents, offering improvements in lifestyle and support whilst not compromising on the quality of their living space. Led by housing company Isos, the £5m scheme enables those with chronic and other health conditions to live in the community, preventing admissions to residential care whilst giving residents and their families the reassurance that help is always on hand.
Brought to the project by main contractors Galliford Try, CMS was contracted to manufacture and install casement windows, as well as single and double doors for the development. A highly energy efficient specification was required to maximise the cost-saving benefits of the installation for residents. Additionally, to ensure that Weavers Court would be a desirable and attractive place to live, it was important that the aesthetics of the works package would complement the rest of the building design.
CMS met the brief with high-performance units to help create an energy-efficient building envelope, eliminating draughts and reducing heat transfer to create a comfortable environment and ease residents’ heating costs. Smart grey PVCu casement frames from Sheerframe’s 8000 range ensured a sleek, modern appearance, with the layout of glass panels in the building envelope helping to create a light, bright interior for the building and ensure fantastic views towards the south of Alnwick.
Ensuring a secure building envelope was also crucial to the project: besides the primary benefits conferred by good security, an overarching priority for Weavers Court was to create homes in which residents could feel safe, protected, and in charge of their own space. CMS responded to this need by using products accredited by Secured by Design, a police-led initiative promoting superior safety specifications for building materials, to exceed security standards and ensure residents’ peace of mind.
CMS’s work on the Weavers Court project was completed in June 2016, with the development opening officially in mid-2016. CMS’s Managing Director, Andy Kerr, welcomed its completion: “Weavers Court represents a really unique opportunity for older and vulnerable residents of Alnwick, and demonstrates that the needs of this sector of society are being increasingly well catered-for.
“The pairing of high-quality housing and on-hand care facilities is an ideal solution to helping residents maintain their independence for longer while ensuring they are enjoying the quality of life they deserve. The support that the Extra Care scheme offers to tenants is invaluable, and it was a real pleasure for CMS to be able to contribute to its creation.”
Mark Massey, senior partner at idpartnership, the architect of Weavers’ Court, said: “The design of Weavers Court reflects best practice in inclusive design and design for well-being. The scheme will be a “step-change” in housing for the elderly, enabling them to become the focus of the community, offering a hotel-like environment in which an active and positive old age can be enjoyed.”