Insulating Properties of Non Traditional Construction

Client: Freebridge Community Housing
Measures: External Wall Insulation, Internal Wall Insulation, Cavity Wall Insulation, Loft Insulation
Location: Norfolk
Date: October 2012 – March 2015
Value: £3,000,000

The Challenge

Cornerstone began working with Freebridge Community Housing in 2008, originally in a subcontractor role to their main contractor partners including Fosters Property Maintenance, R G Carter and T M Brown.  We competitively tendered for our subcontract role, which involved the installation of external wall insulation to hundreds of houses and bungalows in North West Norfolk.

However, as Cornerstone built a reputation for technical excellence over time, we began to be awarded works directly by Freebridge Housing Association.  In particular, we were awarded works to properties of non-traditional construction from 2012, on a one-off basis or as small batches.

Cornerstone’s role was to carry out technical surveys of the properties, install the required measures and secure CERT and latterly ECO funding to partially offset the cost.    A dedicated management team was appointed to deliver these works, based out of our Norfolk office.

Our Solution

One batch of properties focused on the Fairstead Estate in King’s Lynn.  The initial phase treated 120 non-traditional properties with the weber.therm XM system, which involves a single coat mineral spray applied render and represented the most appropriate solution for the property type. 

The 120 properties were successfully completed to schedule throughout a short and particularly cold winter period, which represented a significant challenge to the scheme.  However, we chose a system that was weather resistant during application, enabling us to meet scheme deadlines despite inclement weather.

We completed another scheme for this client in King’s Lynn that focused on Airey houses, requiring another bespoke solution.  A cavity was required between the existing wall structure and the proposed external wall insulation system, as the existing concrete cladding was also not deemed suitable to carry the additional weight of the new system.  As such, we incorporated an aluminium rail system to both support the external wall insulation via the steel frame and form a suitable cavity.  The insulated render system comprised an EPS insulation board fixed to the rail system and a one coat spray-applied mineral render incorporating mesh reinforcement.  The client was pleased with this solution, which demonstrated our high level of product knowledge and technical expertise.

The Result

Between 2012 and 2015, Cornerstone directly installed insulation in approximately 700 properties for Freebridge Community Housing.  The properties were largely located in King’s Lynn and the surrounding area, in a mixture of urban and rural locations.  The majority of properties were of non-traditional construction, including Airey, Unity, Swedish timber framed and Wates PRC houses.  

In addition, we directly installed measures including external wall insulation, internal wall insulation, cavity wall insulation and loft insulation to over 150 private properties that opted into the scheme after being impressed with our work on the social properties in their area, despite the majority of the Freebridge properties being based in estates dominated by social housing.

Cornerstone secured hundreds of thousands of pounds of obligation funding for this project through our long standing funder relationships.

In addition, we added real social value to the scheme by recruiting 24 local people as insulation engineers, as well as five local apprentices, and sponsoring charity events in partnership with Freebridge Community Housing.

Properties treated included Airey, Unity, Swedish Timber Framed and Wates PRC houses

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