Delivering great service: A shared ambition
Our work for The Guinness Partnership (Guinness) saw us complete part-house retrofits to 52 homes in Crewe as part of the BEIS Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) Demonstrator project. Our role in leading the retrofit project was to catalyse innovation and develop best practice to inform Guinness’ future social housing retrofit projects.
One of our main project objectives was to improve the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of each property to Band C in line with the Government’s Net Zero targets for social housing. This was achieved by introducing external wall insulation, new windows and doors and loft insulation, resulting in a projected reduction in energy usage, costs and carbon emissions.
We mirror Guinness’ mission to deliver a great service and provide homes in which people are proud to live. The programme of retrofit works carried out in Crewe was specifically designed to improve resident comfort and lifestyle by significantly upgrading the energy efficiency of the properties, and in many cases, replacing kitchens and bathrooms to enhance functionality and aesthetics.
Partnering for success
We worked with our trusted project partners, Energy Specifics and Constructive Thinking Architects, in pioneering the part-house retrofit project on behalf of Guinness. All properties received PAS 2035 retrofit assessments, delivered by Energy Specifics. From these, Options Improvement Evaluations were undertaken and medium-term improvement plans drawn up.
PAS 2035 retrofit designs were created by Constructive Thinking Architects, with a fabric-first approach to achieve significant but practical energy demand reductions. Careful consideration was taken to ensure continuous ventilation to avoid the newly sealed properties suffering from condensation, damp or mould. Using trusted partners enabled us to achieve the greatest results on behalf of Guinness, to enhance the standard of living for residents and take important steps in the journey to Net Zero.
Various energy efficiency measures were installed at each of the 52 homes to bring each property in line with EPC C rating requirements. All properties benefitted from external wall insulation to 110mm thick with the aim of achieving a U-value of 0.3. Additionally, windows were replaced with new PVCu high efficiency units of double or triple glazing with a U-value of 1.0-1.2, and external doors were replaced with insulated doors with a U-value of 1.0. We also upgraded loft insulation either through top ups or new insulation, making sure to fully insulate loft hatches.
When introducing energy efficiency measures, careful consideration must be taken to eliminate risk of condensation, damp or mould in the properties. To combat this, we installed a small mechanical ventilation system to allow adequate airflow in the newly well-insulated and sealed buildings. All internal doors were also undercut to leave a minimum 10mm gap to ensure a constant airflow through the property.
Identifying and overcoming new challenges
The specialist nature of the Demonstrator project required strategic supply chain management. We worked closely with our trusted supply chain partners to overcome challenges with supply chain capacity to deliver the output within the programme timescale for Guinness.
As is the case for the industry as a whole, PAS compliance has been a continuous learning curve for our team. Processes demand a large quantity of knowledge and administrative time from the initial stages through to delivery and completion. As a result, our team has developed and shared best practice to ensure effective management of all compliance tasks.
Get in touch to chat about your fit-out and refurbishment project.