Farrow Court, in Ashford, is a modern, vibrant older people’s housing scheme designed to enhance quality of life through innovative, thoughtful design.

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Built in two phases, Farrow Court will eventually comprise 84 care-ready apartments, an eight bed recuperative care centre, 12 independent living apartments for people with learning disabilities, a shop, hairdressers and therapy room, along with an Age UK Community Resource Centre. 

Stylish and contemporary aesthetic

VELFAC composite aluminium / timber glazing is installed across the development, featuring white painted frames and durable external aluminium finished in bronze polyester powder coating. The signature slim VELFAC frame is also used to maximise natural light and views and ensure excellent low energy performance, while also sustaining the stylish contemporary aesthetic which makes Farrow Court so distinctive.

Having already installed VELFAC glazing in extra care projects across the UK, Farrow Court architects PRP knew the system offered high quality construction at a reasonable price, representing real value for money for client Ashford Borough Council. The slim VELFAC frame also allowed natural light to flood interior spaces - a key concept underpinning Farrow Court design.

Positive impact of natural light

‘Plentiful natural light is very important in sheltered housing,’ says PRP Associate Director Andrew Robson. ‘It positively impacts on residents’ moods, reduces solar gain, and illuminates important areas such as circulation routes, stairs and lift landings.’ Internal warmth and light are emphasised by the inner timber frame, with the added comfort of VELFAC ‘maxi-handles’ - warm-touch, larger handles deliberately designed for less dexterous users. Window installation also ensures residents can enjoy the view, even when seated, 'with carefully positioned mid-rails (in line with Lifetime Homes guidelines) across floor to ceiling glazing to avoid blocking the line of sight,’ adds Andrew.

Double and triple glazed units

Energy efficiency was also vital, with triple and double-glazed VELFAC units installed across the building: ‘Farrow Court had to achieve BREEAM Very Good,’ says Andrew. ‘VELFAC helped us achieve this target with glazing which met the required U and G values thereby providing the optimal balance of thermal efficiency and solar heat transmittance throughout the building.’

Phase 1 of Farrow Court, housing 33 apartments, opened in November 2015 with Phase 2 due to complete in August 2017.


Sector: Sheltered housing

Architect: PRP

Client: Ashford Borough Council

Specified for:

  • Slim frame / maximum daylight
  • High performance construction
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Energy efficiency
  • Ease of operation