Comments attributed to: Paul Smith, Head of Specification Sales at Häfele…
The 2020 Tall Buildings Survey confirmed that tall buildings are now one of the most common forms of housing. This is because as populations begin to rise alongside demand for new homes, well-designed, tall buildings are providing a solution to developers who are running out of street-level space.
High rise buildings and their internal design schemes vary depending on available footprint. The nationally described space standard states that, to provide a resident with a basic standard of living, a one bedroom dwelling with a single bed space needn’t be any larger than 37m2 – equivalent to one tenth of a tennis court – though figures show that flats in the UK tend to have a typical floor space of around 50m² to 60m².
This is a much smaller footprint than most houses, though, so it presents configuration challenges for architects and developers wanting to offer an appealing housing proposition. And, as our homes become increasingly multifunctional, architects and developers are under pressure to identify fixtures and fittings which help residents achieve flexibility and maximise space, alongside style and function.
Sliding doors have long been used within dwellings where space is at a premium, so are commonly seen within flats and apartments. Saving 1270 mm in operating space per door compared to swing-out alternatives, sliding doors offer a different function and purpose for every room within a home and, with a variety of materials, weights and finishes available, there’s a sliding door option to suit every design scheme and budget, too.
Slide and pivot systems, such as the Hawa Concepta, have surged in popularity in recent years for their ability to help residents completely close off areas of their home when they’re not in use. In the form of a hinged system, which then slides back into a concealed pocket.
Hawa Concepta can be used to house mini kitchens, office spaces, entertainment systems and can even act as room dividers. The doors used to cover up these areas are hidden within super slim pockets when in use, meaning that when these areas are ‘open’, the doors aren’t even on show. When closed again at the end of the day, the doors act as a panelled wall.
Ideal for any dual-purpose space, the Hawa Concepta provides a wow factor while simultaneously helping a resident achieve a minimalist look, creating a feeling of space even in a limited footprint.
Within bedrooms, sliding doors have long been used on furniture such as wardrobes, but various new products available today are offering developers everything from high end, automated systems, to doors which are installed with complementary lighting, both offering a touch of class without the associated costs.
One of Häfele’s newer, own-brand Slido doors comes as a coplanar system, with two doors sitting flush when closed, but which open at the touch of a button to provide a user easy access to their items.
Meanwhile, Loox, Häfele’s plug-and-play furniture lighting system, can be fitted with all Slido wardrobe door ranges to offer a lighting scheme personalised to the end user, which comes to life when triggered by an opened wardrobe door, illuminating items within.
For those living within particularly limited spaces, sliding doors are suggested as an alternative to swing out doors to save space in corridors. For example, pocket doors, which side into existing wall cavities, can be installed to bedrooms and bathrooms in this way to provide smooth accessibility to a room while also being tidily stored away when not in use, meaning they are never in the way. Also available in a variety of styles and finishes, there is a pocket door to suit every need and budget.
A different specification is required for a bathroom door that’s used multiple times a day compared to that for a room divider, which might only be utilised once a month. For those wanting to help their residents achieve ultimate acoustic comfort, a soft close option will be a clear choice; meanwhile, an automated system might better appeal to a certain demographic of customer a developer is targeting. Customers might ask for a bi-fold door option, without realising a slide and pivot system offers greater functionality.
Häfele act as consultants to help ascertain what needs to be achieved in a space, then use their wide-breadth range of doors to achieve any desired outcome, regardless of the available budget. Choice is the ultimate luxury, and Häfele are able to offer it while demonstrating all of the brilliant things each of their different systems are able to achieve.
And once a specification is agreed upon, Häfele will offer their added value services to wrap around the entire installation and maintenance process.
Häfele to Order, for example, can be utilised to have multiple door systems cut, assembled, packaged, labelled and delivered to specific requirements to save time and improve efficiency during the installation process. Then, once fitted, the Häfele Assist team is on hand to provide an ongoing care package, should any sliding door systems become damaged or require repairs.
Häfele’s role in the in the use of sliding doors within high rise developments is to work with developers to understand exactly what their customers will want to achieve from a space, and how they will want to feel when they’re in it. Even in the smallest of spaces, sliding doors create an opportunity to maximise footprint, and create more life per square metre.
View Sliding Door Gear Product Entry