The Green in Chelmsford, Essex is a Chelmer Homes Partnership (CHP) development comprising a mixture of approximately 150 semi-detached and terraced social housing properties.
With the majority of the properties on The Green built prior to the 1930s, their solid brick construction meant that many residents suffered problems with cold, condensation, mould and higher energy bills due to a lack of insulation.
Using funding from the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP), CHP commissioned Aran Services to carry out a refurbishment programme focussed on the improvement of thermal performance, as well as to provide a high quality, low maintenance finish which would improve the estate’s general aesthetic appearance.
WHY SWISTHERM and SWISSLAB?
To significantly boost the thermal performance of the properties, Aran Services specified 9000m2 of Alumasc’s industry-proven Swisslab and Swistherm systems with 30mm phenolic and 100mm EPS insulation respectively, finished with a silicone render.
The combination of Swistherm and Swisslab was proposed, following a technical assessment by Alumasc. The dual approach to the external wall insulation was crucial to the delivery of an effective refurbishment, with both products working together to overcome the logistical challenges of the tight spaces on the development.
With the technical support of Alumasc, the project team was confident that the dual insulation methods would achieve the target U value, whilst the white and cream coloured silicone render would meet the need for an attractive, robust finish.
CHALLENGES AND AIMS
The main challenge posed by the project was the lack of space, in particular around the passageways and cut-throughs, where space was already very tight.
To address this, Alumasc provided technical support to Aran Services, identifying areas where its thinner EWI, Swisslab, could be utilised to minimise the impact on these tight spaces whilst still maximising thermal performance.
Due to Swisslab being the more costly of the two insulation systems, Swistherm was used in all other areas to enable the project to come in on budget.
Additionally, the period features of the properties, such as bay windows and guttering, required technical support from Alumasc to ensure their retention whilst providing effective insulation around them.
The overall aesthetics of the development are now greatly enhanced and thermal performance has vastly improved from 2.1 w/m2k to 0.3 w/m2k. Both of these factors have been achieved whilst maintaining the period features of the homes.
Feedback from residents of the properties has been very favourable, as Elaine Gibb, CHP Energy Adviser, explains: “The Alumasc products have been really successful and have made a big difference – as soon as the insulation layer was added to the exterior, our residents started saying how much warmer their homes felt. The render finish has improved the look of the development and has had a knock-on effect in the general mood of the community and many residents have started to take more pride in their local area through measures such as improving their gardens.”
For more information about the full range of EWI systems from Alumasc Facades, please visit www.alumascfacades.co.uk