May 16, 2020

Top safety considerations when building apartment blocks

Apartment Construction
3 min
Top safety considerations when building apartment blocks
With a growing number of people choosing apartment living, it's more important than ever to make sure apartments are a safe and secure place to call...

With a growing number of people choosing apartment living, it's more important than ever to make sure apartments are a safe and secure place to call home.

From small complexes to large apartment communities in major metropolitan areas, construction companies are doing all they can to ensure the safety of tenants.

Here are just a few ways construction companies are making apartment safety a top priority:

Gated Communities

Front gates and fencing are an apartment community's first line of defense against crime. Construction companies are including front gates and fencing in their designs not only for security purposes, but also as a design feature of the community itself.

Designers are incorporating security gates and fencing to match the rest of the community's architectural design. For example, Bell Valley Ranch Apartments in Irving, Texas recently installed controlled access gates to give residents more peace of mind and reduce future crime rates.

Likewise, they are incorporating different kinds of technology in the security gates such as key fob entry and barcode decal readers. This makes it easy for residents to enter without compromising the level of security the gate provides.

Security Systems

Personal security is a major part of making an apartment complex safe, which is why construction companies are including security systems in each apartment.

The Lenox Park Apartment Community in Atlanta, Georgia updated their apartments with monitored security systems to keep up with the security needs of residents.

Some of the more advanced security systems feature wireless connectivity to mobile devices. This allows residents to monitor their apartment and receive alerts even if they aren't home.

SMS Alerts

Although construction companies do all they can to make sure residents are safe, apartment management companies sometimes need to take things a step further.

As the following article looks at, a number of management companies are keeping apartment communities safe with SMS text messaging and alerts.

Apartment complexes are encouraging residents to sign up for SMS alerts to keep the community up to date on everything from events to emergency situations and burglaries.

With the success of SMS security alerts in college apartment complexes at Eastern Michigan University and the University of Texas, residential apartment complexes are quickly adopting the technology.

Exterior Lighting

Apartment communities are known for their large parking areas, which can become a target for car burglaries. As a result, construction companies are making sure apartment properties have plenty of exterior lighting.

Parking area lighting in combination with perimeter fence and motion-sensing lights around clubhouses and common areas help deter burglars.

In addition, apartment community designers are including walkway lighting along all pathways in apartment communities. This helps residents safely navigate the property at night.

Common Area Security Cameras

There are a number of common areas in apartment communities including exercise facilities, clubhouses, hallways, and lobbies. In order to increase safety measures, construction companies are adding common area security cameras to their apartment designs.

Security cameras not only deter attacks and robberies, they also help catch criminals when theft does take place. The Siena Villas Apartment Homes in Elk Grove, California feature surveillance cameras in most public areas to enhance the property’s security for example.

A number of apartment management companies are retrofitting existing communities with monitored cameras in the common areas mentioned above as well as parking and mailbox areas. These cameras add another level of safety to apartment living.

From lighting to entrance gates, it's plain to see that safety and security in apartment communities is by design.

Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including construction and home security.

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May 14, 2021

Cortec Corporation launches Ecoshrink compostable film

Dominic Ellis
3 min
Sourced from certified commercially compostable resins and containing 45% biopolymers, the Ecoshrink film reduces conventional plastic waste

Cortec Corporation believes its EcoShrink compostable film will mark another important notch in plastic-free industrial practices.

Sourced from certified commercially compostable resins and containing 45% biopolymers, the film reduces conventional plastic waste and improves users' environmental footprint. It can be used to cover large or small objects and keep dust, dirt, and moisture off warehouse stock, with wrapping from standard shrink tools. Rolls come individually boxed or in cradle packed pallets.

The construction industry is the second largest user of plastic, producing 300MT annually with 50% single use, and it accounts for around 6% of total plastic waste. Piping and conduit are the largest users of polymers in construction and consume 35% of production.

The Alliance for Sustainable Building Products champions sustainable practices. "Wherever possible the use of plastic products in construction should be confined to specialist high value, low volume application areas such as binders, seals, tapes, gaskets and services," it recommends.

ASBP’s technical associate Katherine Adams will join over 50 experts to take part in one of four new task groups which will support the development of the Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap for the Built Environment. It has devised an interactive guide on plastics in construction and identified four key consumption and disposal issues:

  • Polyvinylchloride (PVC) makes up nearly 52% (910,000 tonnes), with around 25% landfilled
  • High-density polyethylene (HDPE) makes up nearly 13% (225,000 tonnes), with around 27% landfilled
  • Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is 8% (140,000 tonnes), with 32% landfilled
  • Polypropylene (PP) is 7.4% (130,000 tonnes), with 27% landfilled

Biodegradable plastics have been advertised as one solution to the plastic pollution problem but today’s “compostable” plastic bags, utensils and cup lids don’t break down during typical composting and contaminate other recyclable plastics, creating headaches for recyclers. Most compostable plastics, made primarily of the polyester known as polylactic acid, or PLA, end up in landfills and last as long as forever plastics.

University of California, Berkeley scientists claims to have invented a way to make compostable plastics break down more easily, with just heat and water, within a few weeks, solving a problem that has flummoxed the plastics industry and environmentalists.

“People are now prepared to move into biodegradable polymers for single-use plastics, but if it turns out that it creates more problems than it’s worth, then the policy might revert back,” said Ting Xu, UC Berkeley professor of materials science and engineering and of chemistry. “We are basically saying that we are on the right track. We can solve this continuing problem of single-use plastics not being biodegradable.”

Stakeholders from the organics recycling and sustainable materials communities have launched the US Composting Infrastructure Coalition to support innovative and responsible waste reduction and recovery solutions like composting. The Coalition believes composting serves as an opportunity to address key environmental challenges and deliver positive economic impacts to people and communities.

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