Before having children my husband and I ended up renting a flat. It was an unusual experience living on the top floor and knowing that we felt on top of the world and living in the same block as many other people. It was also strange because the garbage shute ran from the top of the building to the bottom. It was a really special community and with the global population set to rise I have no doubt that many of us will be living in flats.
Did you know that flats already account for a large proportion of where people call home in the uk? high proportion of homes in the UK. The Government estimates are that there are 2.75m private leasehold flats in England – about an eighth of all dwellings – and this figure doesn’t include Scotland and Wales.
Below Deacon Insurance has shared with me some unusual and interesting facts that I think you will appreciate, all related to flats! I’d love to know what you think of them.
1 The Romans built the first flats
Yep, Romans built the first flats believe it or not! They used concrete, which was based on lime and volcanic sand, which allowed them to create new architectural forms. They designed what we know as the standardised brick which allowed for a really quick way of getting flats built. Their early multi-storey blocks, typically with shops on the ground floor, and apartments on two or more floors above, were called insula or “islands”. This was because they often occupied an entire city block, with roads flowing around like the sea. They really did know how to build homes for their citizens.
2 Forest flats!
The one thing that I didn’t like about our flat all those years ago was the lack of greenery. Did you know that in Milan they have created a vertical forest containing thousands of plants on balconies. They have used 20,000 trees and plats from the top of the building to the bottom. This is also been so popular that it is now being replicated all over the world. It really does sound wonderful to have all that greenery especially in flats.
3 Recycling on a gargantuan scale
I love to hear about recycling and reusing. So I was pleased to find out that in some cities in England they are reusing old buildings and turning them i to flats. For example they have turned the old BBC building in White City in to some beautiful flats. Another example is the Hoover building in London and Battersea Power Station. It’s wonderful to see old buildings getting a new lease of life.
4 Tallest, Smallest, Largest – where in the world?
We often hold quizzes for our teenage sons just to keep their general knowledge up. They know what the tallest skycraper in the world is – do you? It is Dubai’s iconic Burj Khalifa which currently stands at 72 metres high, but that is set to change. In 2020 the 1000 metre mile high Jeddah Tower is set to take over with apartments for living space. In China the city is host to the smallest flats that are only 50 square feet! The largest on the other hand can be found in Sao Paulo it is a 38 story residential building with over 1160 apartment units with more than 5000 residents.
5 Most expensive
Hands up if you can guess where the second most expensive flats are? Yep, London! Aparently the most expensive is Hong Kong. In London you need a staggering £7090 a month to live a comfortable life. Oxford, Edinburgh and Brighton came next at around £5000 a month. Wow, what kind of a job would you need for those costs?
So there you have it the most unusual and wonderful things you will probably learn about flats! Do you or have you every lived in a flat? I have to admit to liking my time in flat living but I was also glad when I got the chance to own a garden and start planting vegetables and flowers.