New heating brings more comfort at less cost to city tower blocks

Richard Carroll, Optima Community Association employee.



Thursday, ?04 December 2014 

Residents living in two of the largest publicly-owned tower blocks in Europe are enjoying more comfortable and cost-effective homes, thanks to the work of an affordable housing provider.

Optima Community Association, part of WM Housing Group, is carrying out heating replacements to its properties in Clydesdale and Cleveland Tower, Birmingham, known collectively as The Sentinels. The works will not only see residents’ comfort improved, with the new systems heating their homes more efficiently, but also a reduction in their heating bills and a greener, cleaner approach to staying warm.

Built in 1970, the properties have, until recently, relied upon their original blow-air heating systems. Optima Community Association has now invested £2.1 million to install new gas heating units, supplied by Johnson & Starley, in the homes. Radiators will also be fitted in the bedrooms, hallways and bathrooms. 

Since acquiring the 32-storey buildings in 1999, Optima has given the towers a new lease of life through various redevelopments. The heating works are the latest in a series of improvements, including communal decorations, fire safety upgrades and an updated concierge service.

Contractor Npower will be carrying out the works to more than 400 properties in the towers at no additional cost to residents. 

One early beneficiary of the new heating system was Miss Hirad. She said: “I’m very happy with the new cleaner central heating system that has been fitted, especially the radiator aspect.”

Miss Hirad was one of more than 100 residents who recently attended a consultation event where they were shown the new systems in action. 

Martyn Hale, managing director at Optima, said: “We are delighted with how well the residents at The Sentinels have engaged with this project. We had a record turn out to the consultation event, and it enabled us to show the people first hand the tangible benefits of upgrading their heating systems.

“We’re committed to improving the lives of our residents and ensuring that they are receiving maximum value for money. The feedback we’ve received from those who have already had their heating replaced is really positive, and we look forward to continuing to bring more cost effective, comfortable solutions to customers’ homes.”

Work to the towers is due to be completed by March next year.

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