SW Green Energy Awards 2014 | Best Best Energy-Efficient Scheme

The refurbishment of 3 Laing Easiform properties within Cowick have been short-listed in Best Energy-Efficient Scheme category of the SW Green Energy Awards 2014 organised by Regen SW.


3. Exeter City Council
Exeter City Council has completed a refurbishment of 3 non-traditional, hard to-treat properties in the St Thomas area to very high standards of thermal efficiency. The refurbishment of these properties acts as a replicable pilot for other housing stock (of similar construction type) in the area.

2014-07-07 10.02.50

1. What are the environmental benefits of the scheme including units of energy delivered and carbon saved on a monthly or yearly basis?

Prior to the works being undertaken the buildings were very poor in terms of thermal efficiency, before the work they were producing 5.1 tonnes of carbon per year, following the works they achieved 2.1 tonnes of carbon per year. The work has also produced a significant reduction in their energy requirements going from 426 kwh/m2 per year to 171 kwh/m2 per year.

This means they have less impact on the environment while remaining comfortable for the occupants. The old electric water and space heating system has been replaced by a high efficiency combination boiler and the windows have been renewed with triple glazed windows. Ventilation is provided by a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery unit.

2. What are benefits of the scheme for the local area, e.g. through cost savings to local organisations and involvement of local supply chains

The scheme was prompted by the need to bring back three non traditional construction type properties into residential use. These properties had been empty for a number of years and required varying amounts of structural works. The work was procured following the Exeter City Councils procurement procedures and policies and was awarded to a regional contractor, Jones Building Group, the contract included all structural, refurbishment and energy efficiency works. During the delivery of the project local contractors were used to undertake the majority of the works and the properties were used on two occasions by the Energy Saving Trust to provide tool box talks to local suppliers, contractors, architects and designers.

Once the works were completed the three properties were occupied by tenants direct from the Councils waiting list so providing them with a new home with high levels of insulation that will be more economic to occupy.

3. What is the significance of the scheme on a county, regional or national level? Is it a first, is it replicable?

Regionally this project was unique in the number of energy efficiency matters it brought together in one building. Very often there are programmes to deliver one or two of the measures we carried out but for this project we took a much more holistic approach and dealt with all aspects although a major focus was given to the insulation of the building fabric. The depth of the external wall insulation was 160mm which is more than is usually specified but we wanted to see if this could be achieved and what would the outcome be in terms of not only energy efficiency but also visual appearance. We wanted these properties to act as a trial to what could be replicated when future units became empty, certain aspects we will be carrying forward to other properties but others will not. For example a lot of money was spent on the new triple glazed windows but we feel that similar performance can be achieved with cheaper products. This then delivers better value for money for the Council allowing us to carry out the works to more properties within the budget allowed.

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