Insulating for energy savings

The National Insulation Association (NIA) has announced the introduction of a new service for local authorities and housing associations looking for insulation companies to work on their projects.
With the cuts to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) announced by the government last year, an increasing number of local authorities and housing associations are now unable to secure ECO funding for insulation programmes and are therefore funding these from their own budgets. As a result the NIA is increasingly being contacted by them asking for help in finding local installers to carry out work on their behalf.
Neil Marshall, chief executive of the NIA commented: “Local authorities and housing associations can provide us with the details of their projects and we will then issue expressions of interest and tender requests on their behalf to our members through our electronic communication system. This provides the benefit of avoiding the need to contact lots of different companies and is immediate.
“The NIA is the lead trade body for insulation measures in the UK and our members can provide multi measure solutions.  In addition, our members are required to meet our robust membership criteria and adhere to our strict code of professional practice meaning our members provide additional reassurance and peace of mind.”
The NIA provides Government Business with two case studies which exemplify the need for insulation in housing projects.

Sherwood Court, Nottingham
Many local authorities throughout the UK are now choosing EWI insulation as an energy efficient measure to upgrade their raging housing stock in order to meet the government’s Decent Homes Standard.
Sherwood Court, a two storey sheltered housing complex in Kirby‑In-Ashfield, has recently benefitted from government funding, allowing clients Ashfield Homes to begin their major refurbishment on reducing unnecessary heat loss and CO2 emissions.
Main contractors Keepmoat were instructed by Ashfield Homes to carry out works on Sherwood Court and worked alongside WBS Recognised Contractors; Hamilton (Building Contractors) which delivered the application of EWI.
A Wetherby Epsicon EWI system was the perfect, cost effective solution to a project that would reduce energy usage and carbon emissions whilst protecting the external fabric of the building.
The system build up consisted of a layer of 60mm Phenolic Insulation that was mechanically fixed to the substrate of the building. Following the application of a strengthening scrim mesh, embedded into a scrim adhesive, a layer of White Dashing Mortar was applied at a thickness of 8-10mm. Whilst still wet, the two aggregates chosen, WBS Polar White and WBS Westberg were thrown into the mortar, ensuring an even distribution of chippings. The combination of the two aggregates gave a contrasting finish which dramatically uplifted the worn out exterior of this two storey building.
Sherwood Court was built in 1972 and was certainly failing to meet current building regulations. With the application of EWI it upgraded the building from starting u-values of 2.1W/m2K to an impressive 0.29W/m2K.

Radian’s External Wall Insulation
Radian wants its residents to enjoy a better quality of life now and in the future, and is committed to sustainability and energy saving.

As part of its objective to profoundly improve people’s lives, Radian identified a number of properties that were in desperate need of improvement. The properties in Windsor were unusual in that they were cavity construction to the ground floor and single leaf blockwork to the first floor. Some were ‘Wimpey no-fines’ houses; others were ‘Reema’ houses, built using prefabricated reinforced concrete panels. The residents reported that their houses were cold and suffered from condensation; Radian also had concerns that the fuel bills in these properties were particularly high and still continuing to rise.

The solution for all of the houses was to install External Wall Insulation, and Radian chose InBuild to carry out the work. Jeremy Wood, Radian’s Sustainability Manager, looked at some of the Company’s previous installations and was impressed by the quality of workmanship and attention to detail.

Customer service was another important consideration in selecting a contractor in order to make the process as smooth as possible for the residents. In addition, InBuild was able to provide access to good levels of funding through its partnerships with industry specialists and funding providers.

The tenants are delighted with the results and Radian has already recorded savings in fuel bills from March to May; these savings are expected to be even more significant over the winter months.
Jeremy Wood, sustainability manager at Radian, commented: “Radian strives to deliver excellent local housing and support services to create strong and sustainable communities where people flourish. Excellent customer service and quality of workmanship were key drivers in our decision to appoint InBuild to install EWI on our properties, the benefits of which will be appreciated by our residents for many years to come.”

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