External Wall Insulation to Swedish Timber Frame Property

Client: South Cambridgeshire District Council
Measures: External Wall Insulation, Loft Insulation
Location: Carlton, Newmarket
Date: June 2019
Value: Approx. £12,000

The Challenge

Cornerstone has insulated hundreds of solid wall properties for our long term client South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) since 2012, including a number of properties of non-traditional construction – mostly Wimpey No Fines houses.

In 2019, we were approached to tackle some of their most technically challenging solid wall properties – Swedish Timber Frame houses.  The first property was located in Carlton, near Newmarket.  This semi-detached property was very cold and thermally inefficient, and was in desperate need of external wall insulation (EWI).

Swedish Timber Frame properties are prefabricated sectional units with a attractive Scandinavian design; approximately 4,500 were built in the UK the in post-war years of 1945 – 1951.  Although the majority are still in good use, their thermal inefficiency means they often have very low EPC ratings, with external wall insulation the main means of improving this.

Our Solution

Cornerstone was involved in the lengthy process of gaining planning permission for the external wall insulation works, supporting our client with technical and operational information.  The planning process is often complex with Swedish Timber Frame properties, as the installation of EWI does drastically change the external appearance of the houses.   

On this type of property, Cornerstone also considers structural issues, fire risk and the potential requirement for completing remedial repairs, conducting a detailed survey and providing comprehensive technical advice in partnership with our system manufacturer suppliers.  

The installation of the Alumasc EWI system was completed during June 2019, transforming the semi-detached off gas property.  The works were closely overseen by an experienced Site Manager and technical team, ensuring the installation proceeded according to the bespoke specification and to schedule and budget.

The Result

The installation was carried out successfully and achieved a clean and modern finish on the 70 year old property.  This work will not only improve the appearance and thermal efficiency of the property, but will also extend the useful life of the house.  

Cornerstone carried out an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) on the property before and after the insulation works.  Prior to the insulation, the property was in band G, with just 17 SAP points.  Our insulation works increased the energy efficiency of the property by an impressive 38 SAP points, placing it in EPC band D.  

This considerable improvement in thermal efficiency will enable the property to retain much more heat, making it a warmer and more comfortable space, as well as enabling the residents to significantly reduce their energy bills.

The insulation works increased the property’s EPC rating by three bands – from a G to a D

‘South Cambridgeshire District Council has been partnering with Cornerstone for a number of years to provide loft, cavity wall and external wall insulation as required to our housing stock of more than 5,200 properties. Cornerstone have worked closely with SCDC to improve the specification and design of the external wall insulation and our tenants regularly report high levels of satisfaction with the work undertaken and the final appearance.  Cornerstone are very proactive and knowledgeable in their area of expertise and have worked closely with our structural engineer to provide solutions for some difficult projects such as meeting challenging planning requirements in order to insulate our Swedish Timber properties.’

– Elaine Butterworth, Warm Homes Surveyor, SCDC

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