May 25, 2010
Kate’s high rise weather warning
Long time community campaigner, Kate Willis, recently won a top national award for her efforts to improve the quality of housing and the lives of the people of Castlemilk. One of the most visible projects she has been involved in recently was the highly unusual Castlemilk Lighting Project. Three high rise blocks, fitted with an innovative lighting system that not only lights up the tower blocks at night but sends out up to the minute weather forecasts to anyone who cares to glance upwards
Glasgow Housing Association board member Kate Willis has won a top national award for her tireless commitment to improving her community.
Kate, from Castlemilk, was named Inspirational Board Member of the Year at the 2010 Housing Heroes Awards, run by Inside Housing and the Chartered Institute of Housing.
She has campaigned for more than a decade to improve the quality of housing and the lives of the people of Castlemilk.
Kate has served on the committee of Castlemilk Tenants’ Housing Association – the Local Housing Organisation (LHO) which looks after homes in the area on behalf of GHA – since stock transfer in 2003. She became Chair of CTHA in 2008 and went on to become a GHA board member in 2009.
Recently her passion, commitment and energy helped light up the sky with the Castlemilk Lighting Project, a system which brings colour via LED lights to three tower blocks and helps residents forecast the weather at the same time.
A NEW lighting system in three Castlemilk tower blocks will bring a splash of colour to the area – and help residents forecast the weather at the same time.
The Castlemilk Lighting Project, part funded by Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) and Glasgow City Council, will see innovative coloured lights installed in the windows of a stairwell down one side of the three 19-storey Dougrie Place high rises.
As well as creating a colourful landmark visible right across the city, the system means residents will be able to check what weather conditions are like – and view the forecast for the next day.
The high-spec, energy-efficient LED lights mean that, during the hours of darkness, residents will be able to see:
The temperature forecast;
The predicted wind direction;
The next day’s weather outlook.
The unusual system, designed by Collective Architecture and Northern Light, uses LED fixtures to ensure power consumption and carbon footprint are reduced.
A webcam and dedicated website are planned to show live images of the towers as they change throughout the hours of darkness.
The blocks, which are among the tallest in the city, will display weather conditions from dusk until 4am – and the next day’s weather forecast between 4am and dawn.
The system’s full spectrum of colours and patterns could also be used to mark special events, such as New Year, Guy Fawkes Night or St Andrew’s Day.
Kate Willis, tenant chair of Castlemilk Tenants Housing Association, and a resident of Dougrie Place, said: “The blocks will look fantastic and create a massive feel-good factor for residents. Nothing like this has ever been done before.
“The system is so versatile. The colours could be programmed for the Commonwealth Games or the countdown to New Year or we could generate money for good causes, such as breast cancer charities.”
Jim Sneddon, GHA’s executive director of regeneration, said: “Good lighting really makes buildings come alive, and the Castlemilk Lighting Project will instil a sense of pride in the residents and become a real landmark for the area.”
Deputy Lord Provost of Glasgow, Bailie Allan Stewart, leader of the city’s lighting strategy, said: “I am looking forward to seeing another first for the city in this fantastic new scheme.”