Sustainable Building Services (UK) is now delivering a £2.1 million scheme involving 220 occupied properties in Plas Madoc as part of Wrexham County Borough Council’s ‘re-roofing and group repairs framework’. The work entails roof replacements and the installation of external wall insulation.
In the original phase of the framework, which ended in September 2018, SBS carried out similar improvements to 186 properties on the Plas Madoc estate. Its customer satisfaction scores were higher than those of all other contractors on the framework and, on the strength of its performance, SBS was awarded a place on the second phase. The current project is one of the first to be undertaken through it.
Phase 2 began in September 2018 and work is scheduled to continue until February 2020.
The properties were built in the late 1960s to a Lowton-Cubitt design. They feature steel frames, brick infill panels and concrete tiled roofs. The solid walled construction meant that they exhibited poor heat retention, so Wrexham CBC was keen to improve their energy efficiency. The roof tiles were also approaching the end of their useful lives, so SBS was instructed to carry out the necessary repairs.
On 200 of the properties, SBS is installing a Wetherby external wall insulation (EWI) system that comprises EPS insulation, a silicone render and a variety of brick slip finishes. Wrexham CBC specified a selection of matching colours for the different housing blocks. Energy Performance Certificates are currently being issued and they are expected to show substantial improvements in heat retention.
While installing the external wall insulation, SBS is also fitting new canopies at the front of the properties, together with external lighting. Garage and shed doors are being repainted or replaced.
On all 220 properties, the existing Marley-type roof tiles are being stripped off and replaced with a smooth-profiled Sandtoft tile. Where necessary, existing solar PV panels and satellite dishes are being refitted with new mounting brackets. The extra width of the EWI requires extensions to the roofline, which SBS is also managing.
Work is said to be progressing quickly, following a rolling programme that is seeing 40 properties being treated at any one time.
Effective tenant communications are playing an important role in maintaining the speed of completions. Both Welsh and English are spoken by tenants so SBS has produced literature in two languages. Its regional customer care manager is also fluent in Welsh and, to enhance the social impacts of its work, SBS has engaged local labour and supply chain partners wherever possible.
The company has also taken on a local resident as a trainee site agent and is currently working with a local college and social enterprises to host work experience placements. SBS is also supporting a nearby ‘family centre’, which provides a safe after-school drop-off facility for children. Most recently, SBS helped to improve the centre’s outdoor play area.
SBS is also said to have played an important role in securing ECO funding for the scheme.