Client: West Suffolk Council
Measures: External Wall Insulation, Loft Insulation, Underfloor Insulation
Location: Brandon, Suffolk
Date: December 2018 – February 2019
In 2018, West Suffolk Council set aside funds to support park home residents improve the thermal efficiency of their properties, thereby reducing energy bills and improving health and wellbeing.
Cornerstone was procured to manage an insulation scheme involving external wall insulation, loft insulation and underfloor insulation – effectively providing a whole house wrap for the park homes that would dramatically improve their thermal efficiency and reduce the energy bills of residents. Ashdale Park in Brandon was selected as the location for the scheme, based on its size and need; it is an off-gas park of 40 homes, exclusively for over 55s. A total of 24 park homes were earmarked for measures, reflecting the size of the West Suffolk Council budget.
Individual recipients were selected by West Suffolk based on fuel poverty status, with assessments undertaken against their Flexible Eligibility criteria. Five of the 24 recipients made a small contribution to the cost of the works, as their level of existing savings meant they exceeded a threshold for receipt of the full grant; the remaining 19 made no financial contribution to the works. Approximately £36,000 of ECO funding was secured by Cornerstone from funder EDF Energy to minimise the total cost of the scheme to the council.
In addition, Cornerstone contributed a referral fee of £125 per property to West Suffolk Council, which enabled them to cover their own management and administrative costs and spend their full budget on insulation measures.
Cornerstone’s role was to manage the end to end process, from initial resident engagement to surveying, installation and aftercare. We employed a total of fourteen dedicated personnel on this scheme, including a full time Site Supervisor, whose role it was to oversee works and liaise with residents, ensuring an immediate and knowledgeable point of contact was always available to them. The remainder of our dedicated team included engineers at varying skill levels installing the different insulation elements, with a significant proportion of this team locally based and therefore contributing to the social economic benefits of the scheme.
Cornerstone used Alumasc’s Silkolitt Lite EPS external wall insulation system to externally insulate the properties, which had approximately 67m2 of wall area each. Knauf Earthwool Loft Roll 44 was used to insulate all accessible loft spaces to a depth of 270mm – 14 of the 24 properties – while SuperQuilt quilted insulated was used to insulate the underfloor areas. These high quality and Ofgem approved products enabled us to achieve superb thermal efficiency and qualify the properties for ECO funding.
Cornerstone has worked across a number of park home schemes, and this project reinforced our sense of these sites as a community where trust is hard to earn but is vital to the effective delivery of a scheme. Our approach of engaging with residents early in the process and providing a constant supervisory site presence meant we were able to establish a positive relationships with the resident community early in the scheme; once the residents saw the high standards of workmanship and housekeeping that we demonstrated as the scheme progressed, we were warmly welcomed by residents into that community. Residents provided some excellent comments on our performance, and some impressive early anecdotal feedback on the improved warmth and comfort of their homes.
West Suffolk Council and individual residents also signed off each installation and were entirely happy with the finish and performance of the measures installed. We asked that any resident that wished to leave feedback on our service do this through our Checkatrade platform. Four residents completed an online review of our performance, each of them marking us as 10 out of 10. Residents were also impressed with the noise reduction that the insulation also provided, especially given the park’s proximity to RAF Lakenheath.
In addition, technical monitoring was carried out by an independent inspector on five of the 24 properties insulated, all of which passed without any non-conformances.
Post EPCs were carried out on each of the park homes on completion of the scheme at the request of West Suffolk Councils. Although these are less accurate on the non-traditional build of a park home, each property improved by around 10 SAP points and at least one EPC band.
As there is little data for energy saving values in park homes, we have used the bungalow archetype to conservatively estimate the amount of carbon and energy bill savings achieved by this scheme, based on figures from the Energy Saving Trust. Households that have received EWI and underfloor insulation will save approximately £235 a year in energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint by 960kgCO2 a year. Those that also received loft insulation will save £430 per annum and reduce their carbon footprint by 1,750kgCO2 a year. Across the park and the 24 properties insulated, this totals a significant 34.1 tonnes of CO2 saved per year, and annual bill savings of £8,370.
The project will save an estimated 34.1 tonnes of CO2 a year
“From start to finish I could not fault Cornerstone for their professionalism, from the initial survey all the way to the completion of works. Both myself and my wife were always kept up to date by telephone and we had frequent visits from the site manager, and the gentleman who visited us and kept in contact and communicated with us, great standard of service. Thanks to all”
– Park Home Owner, Ashdale Park