The challenges facing the social housing sector are growing, with housing associations under great pressure to meet more stringent regulations while also dealing with an increasingly discerning client base – the tenants themselves.
One of the top priorities of Hillcrest Housing Association is to help eradicate fuel poverty which continues to blight huge numbers of people across the UK. A household is in fuel poverty if it has to spend 10% or more of its income to adequately heat the home.
There are three contributing factors to fuel poverty:
- Cost of energy
- Energy efficiency of the home
- Household income
Housing associations and co-operatives have invested significantly in their homes, and many now have some of the most energy-efficient homes in the country. However, as social sector tenants tend to be on low incomes, fuel poverty remains a substantial problem for many tenants.
With this in mind, Hillcrest recently approached us to work on a number of its most challenging properties.
In Dundee’s Hilltown, we were called in to provide advice on a property’s long-running condensation problem. The flat, one of a block of six, was of solid wall, traditional construction with the family suffering from cold and condensation due to a lack of insulation within the external walls.
Callum Milne, Managing Director, GoSustainable added,
“With space at a premium, we opted to use the Spacetherm Wall Liner at the Hilltown flat, a high-performance laminate specifically designed to be fixed to internal surfaces of existing solid walls without the need for mechanical fixings. Achieving a 62% heat loss reduction with just a 13mm board, this product made a huge difference to the warmth of the property, eliminating the damp and making the property much more comfortable and viable long-term.”
David Conway, Contracts Manager, Hillcrest Group of Companies said,
“Despite our best attempts, and those of the tenants themselves to rectify the situation at the Hilltown property, the problem remained. Callum and his team did what others couldn’t do, and gave us an insulation solution within two to three days. We went from having unhappy tenants to a solution being delivered in a brief, pain free period, with minimum disruption to the tenants’ lives.”
Meanwhile, in Arbroath, GoSustainable was also contracted to deal with the soffit of a pend with a flat above. The Hillcrest tenants were having issues with damp and cold coming through the floor, so GoSustainable stripped back the ceiling in the pend, framed it out and relined it. The insulation system included a 50mm Knauf Rocksilk fire barrier with a Knauf 140mm FrameTherm insulation below, finished with a UPVC soffit board to avoid long-term maintenance.
David Conway added,
“As a housing association, we clearly need to be mindful of legislation and ever-changing requirements but, for us, it’s about fuel poverty. Put simply, if a tenant can’t afford to pay their bills because of damp, we will help find a solution.
We will have a number of internal wall insulation challenges within the next 18 months and look forward to working with GoSustainable, and others, to pinpoint solutions for some of these harder to treat properties.”
62% heat loss reduction with a 13mm board
Spacetherm Wall Liner is a Magnesium Oxide & Spacetherm aerogel composite board that will reduce heat loss in a 600mm stone wall from 2.18W/m2K to 0.83W/m2K – improving the U-value by 62% in just 13mm.
Spacetherm WL (Wall Liner) is a high-performance laminate specifically designed to be fixed to the internal surfaces of existing solid walls without the need for mechanical fixings.