In any dwelling where vulnerable people reside, it is the responsibility of the landlord to provide a safe living environment as part of their overall Duty of Care. Now, the increasingly pressing issue of fuel poverty should fall under that umbrella too.
In the context of social housing, the considerations for councils and social landlords are more complex than you might initially think. How they heat these premises is just one example of something that can make a genuine difference to their residents – should the attention it deserves be applied correctly.
It begs the question, why aren’t more councils prioritising the installation of heating systems into their social housing that are designed with both safety and low lifetime costs in mind?
You might assume that if a less vulnerable member of society is occupying a social house, then strategies for heating the building might not require great thought. But the demographics in any given social housing environment are constantly changing, which magnifies the importance of careful specification.
It is important to understand that just because someone less vulnerable occupies a house at one time, it doesn’t mean they will be there forever – a heating system must therefore cater for all potential residents, effectively ‘future-proofing’ the property in anticipation of a continuous change in occupancy.
A vulnerable person could be many things, ranging from very young children, to the elderly, to people with mental illness or physical disability. But in addition to these, there are those who might be financially unstable and could potentially fall victim to fuel poverty.
Whilst traditionally associated with use in care homes, LST radiators present the landlords of social housing establishments with the ideal heating solution – a solution that protects their residents from harm, the landlord from liability, and ensures that energy costs are held to a minimum.
Safe, Energy Saving Radiators
One of the major considerations when specifying radiators for social housing is the risk of residents burning themselves on hot surfaces and associated pipework. The best LST radiators conceal the exposed pipework whilst ensuring that surface temperatures do not exceed 43°C – the temperature put forward by the NHS Estates Health Guidance for radiators in its buildings. Not only that, because they are largely designed with vulnerable people in mind, the physical structure of units have been designed to minimise risk of harm – rounded corners would be one example.
Whether a social house is fuelled through its own boiler or a centralised heating system, the most economical route towards lower energy bills is through a low mass, low water content radiator. These radiators feature a high responsiveness to temperature change, which dramatically reduces the amount of wasted energy, whilst at the same time providing a higher degree of comfort.
No other solution truly accommodates the challenges of heating social housing better than LST radiators. By installing these radiators in their buildings now, councils and social landlords can ensure safety, affordable warmth and social sustainability for years to come – irrespective of who might occupy their homes.
Jaga radiators were recently chosen for a unique social housing project in Northumberland called ‘Spacehus’. To read more on this glimpse into the future of social housing, read our case study here.
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