Estimated to be roughly 2,000 years old, London is one of the oldest major cities in the world — and as one of the world’s largest financial centers, it continues to grow.
Of course, population growth means that new buildings become a necessity, both for the people who will call London home and the businesses that will employ them. As the home to four World Heritage sites, it is naturally important that new structures reflect the city’s rich heritage and are equally desirable in and of themselves.
To that end, Costas Polycarpou, founder of Polyteck is among those leading the charge to ensure that the city’s future growth continues to build upon its legacy.
A primary area of emphasis for Polycarpou is regenerative development — the idea of redeveloping existing spaces and putting in new buildings that better meet the needs of the community.
“There isn’t much undeveloped space left in London,” Polycarpou notes, “and at the same time, there are many structures that are no longer suitable for their intended use. With regenerative development, we can work with local stakeholders to determine the right mix of housing and commercial spaces. A transparent approach with the community and holding ourselves accountable is vital for getting results that will ultimately benefit everyone involved.”
The lack of new space for development has led to dramatic changes in London in recent years — such as a proliferation of skyscrapers better suited to handle growing business needs. Of course, not every old building can be turned into a skyscraper. Careful community involvement becomes a necessity to ensure that the right structures are going into the right areas.
By taking the needs of the local community into account, such development efforts have a true regenerative effect that benefits all stakeholders.
Refurbishing Existing Properties
Creating desirable spaces doesn’t merely happen by replacing older structures. “We have many buildings in London that are absolutely amazing and full of history — but they don’t fully meet the needs of our modern world,” Polycarpou explains.
“Fortunately, it’s not an either/or proposition. We don’t have to tear down these gorgeous structures. Instead, we can restore their most defining features and refurbish them to account for updated electrical support, access control, HVAC, plumbing and more.”
Polycarpou notes that many buildings that fit these needs are still actively being used — an issue that isn’t all that surprising, considering London’s history. Many of the city’s homeowners don’t even know when their house was originally built, sometimes requiring a fair amount of research to find the answer.
Such structures — whether used for business or a personal residence — have likely already had their fair share of upgrades made in the past to account for then-new conveniences. Polyteck’s approach seeks to refurbish these spaces to make room for current tech improvements, while keeping intact the unique historical features that make them so desirable in the first place.
“Refurbishing and restoring a space offers a unique opportunity in the world of construction,” Polycarpou says. “The combination of modern amenities with historic ambiance is something you cannot achieve in many other places outside of London.”
Ongoing Maintenance and Monitoring
Of course, Polycarpou and Polyteck understand that it isn’t enough to construct new buildings. London has stood for generations, and the new buildings that aim to make the city more desirable today must be built to stand the test of time.
While ongoing maintenance is an obvious need for any structure, Polycarpou sees the biggest opportunity in remote monitoring. “With traditional facilities maintenance, you often wouldn’t discover a problem until things got out of hand. Remote monitoring solutions use smart sensors to carefully track any system — HVAC, plumbing and so on. This technology allows us to monitor everything from temperatures and refrigerant pressure to water leaks and energy consumption. Immediate alerts mean a faster response, and more efficient results.”
This is especially important when dealing with older structures, which are more likely to have energy efficiency problems and other maintenance issues.
Active monitoring through internet of things (IoT) devices allows maintenance teams to take on a more proactive role in replacing worn components before they fail completely. Refurbishments and routine maintenance alike can be scheduled based on the insights gained from monitoring to keep everything running smoothly.
Rather than needing to shut down a facility for days or even weeks at a time, this proactive approach ensures more consistent maintenance that decreases building down time while also keeping the structure in pristine condition.
A Bright Future for London
Overall, Polycarpou is optimistic about London’s future.
“The city continues to grow for good reason. We just need to make sure that the buildings that will be welcoming these people to London — regardless of whether they are commercial or residential — are sending the right message. Desirable and durable buildings are ultimately the foundation for a strong city that will continue to grow and flourish.”
While the city certainly poses its fair share of development challenges, it is clear that strong community input and innovative providers that embrace the latest technology will help new structures — and refurbished existing spaces — stand tall for many years to come.
Designing Secure Commercial Spaces Without Compromising Aesthetics
In the realm of commercial design, security and aesthetics often seem like opposing forces. Business owners and designers alike grapple with the challenge of creating spaces that not only captivate and inspire but also ensure the safety and security of assets and occupants. The good news is that integrating security features into commercial spaces without sacrificing visual appeal is entirely achievable. This blog post will delve into innovative design strategies that harmonise security with aesthetics, including a look at the best deadlocks for front doors in Australia, ensuring your commercial space is both beautiful and fortified.
Embracing Technology for Seamless Security
Modern technology offers a plethora of options for discreet yet effective security measures. For instance, advanced surveillance systems can be integrated into the architectural design in a way that they blend seamlessly with the environment. Smart locks and biometric access controls offer robust security without the clunky hardware, maintaining a sleek and modern aesthetic. Implementing these technologies not only elevates the security level of your commercial space but does so without disrupting its design flow.
Strategic Use of Materials and Design Elements
The choice of materials and design elements plays a crucial role in balancing security and aesthetics. High-strength materials such as tempered or laminated glass, for example, offer excellent security without compromising on the visual openness that glass provides. Similarly, incorporating natural barriers like decorative boulders or planters can serve as subtle physical deterrents while enhancing the space’s visual appeal.
Lighting: A Dual-Purpose Tool
Lighting is another powerful tool that serves both aesthetic and security purposes. Well-planned lighting can highlight architectural features and create a welcoming atmosphere while ensuring visibility and deterring unauthorised access after hours. Motion-sensor lighting, in particular, can be a discreet addition that enhances security without detracting from the design.
The Role of Deadlocks in Aesthetic Security
A critical aspect of securing any commercial space is the choice of locks, especially for front doors which are the primary entry and exit points. Deadlocks offer a high level of security, making them an essential feature for commercial spaces. However, selecting the right deadlock doesn’t mean you have to settle for a utilitarian look. Today, the market offers a variety of deadlock designs that complement any aesthetic, from modern minimalist to classic elegance. For those in Australia, choosing the best deadlocks for front doors involves considering both the security features and how the lock’s design integrates with your commercial space’s overall look.
Collaboration Between Security Experts and Designers
Achieving a balance between security and aesthetics often requires a collaborative approach. Security experts and interior designers need to work hand in hand from the early stages of the design process. This collaboration ensures that security measures are not afterthoughts but are integrated into the design in a way that complements the space’s aesthetic appeal.
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Designing secure commercial spaces without compromising aesthetics is not only possible but essential in today’s world. Remember, the goal is to integrate security seamlessly into the design, enhancing the user experience and ensuring peace of mind for both business owners and visitors. With thoughtful planning and collaboration, your commercial space can be a testament to the harmony that can exist between security and aesthetics.
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