The perceptions of tenants in the refurbishment of tower blocks

Nicholas Chileshe, Jamal M. Khatib, Mohamed Farah

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Refurbishment has been suggested as a means towards sustainable development. The paper seeks to examine the tenants' perception on the benefits, effectiveness and overall satisfaction with the refurbishment process of the tower blocks. Design/methodology/approach: Literature review is used to identify the perceived problems, benefits and overall process of refurbishment. A survey questionnaire was used to collect data from 67 tenants living in three tower blocks (high-rise flats) in West London. The sample data are analysed using descriptive statistics such as frequencies including ranking analysis. Findings: The findings suggest that refurbishment as opposed to demolition was a viable option for achieving sustainability. The majority of the tenants agreed that their surroundings and way of life improved after refurbishment. Other notable benefits from refurbishment were improved security, improved social behaviour and social harmony. However, the respondents failed to either identify or suggest future refurbishment works that could improve their estates. Lack of consultation between the service providers and contractors with the tenants was identified as the major barrier affecting the future refurbishment. Research limitations/implications: The cross-sectional data made it difficult to generalise the findings. Practical implications: The paper identifies the benefits and roles of refurbishment in the context of its contribution to sustainability. It is argued that there is a need for early and systematic involvement of tenants or occupants in order to facilitate the refurbishment process as a vehicle for attaining sustainability principles. Originality/value: The paper contributes to empirical research on major benefits and problems of refurbishment when viewed from the tenant's perspective. It also demonstrates how the refurbishment process can be used as a vehicle for achieving sustainability outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-137
Number of pages19
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Benefits
  • Buildings
  • Refurbishment
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable design
  • Tower blocks
  • United Kingdom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction


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