Abertay Housing Association

Undertaking an energy efficiency upgrade of properties.

Abertay Housing Association

As part of its 1800 housing stock portfolio, Abertay had 84 houses experiencing damp and condensation problems and were also required to find a solution that would ensure their compliance with the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) energy efficiency targets.

Assessment & Recommendation

GoSustainable carried out a Green Deal Advice Report (GDAR) to assess the viability of energy efficient measures. The report is in two parts:

1. Technical Survey

We completed a chartered surveyor’s report and a full technical survey of each house and produced an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) identifying the current and potential energy efficiency of each house. The EPC identifies a range of measures that could be introduced to improve the energy efficiency of each house and the associated costs to implement these. One of the recommended measures for these houses was Internal Wall Insulation (IWI).

2. ECO Report

This report helps to identify the annual cost savings to the home depending on the energy efficiency measures introduced. This determines the level of financial support available through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), part of the Government’s commitment to reduce Carbon emissions.

Looking at a typical flat in Cheviot Crescent as an example, the internal wall insulation measure forecasts the following savings per flat:

Annual x36 Years
product lifetime
Carbon Saving (tonnes) 1.861 66.996
Cost Saving £253.84 £9,138
Insulation - Internal Wall Insulation - Fitting
Internal Wall Insulation - Installation


The period of time between the project being recommended to its implementation was kept as brief as possible. Abertay wanted the works to be costed, a funding model to be arrived at, and the opportunity to have work done as quickly as possible.In addition, funders required that any ECO identified needed to be accessed quickly in what is a fast-moving marketplace.

In addition, funders required that any ECO identified needed to be accessed quickly in what is a fast-moving marketplace.

Recommended Measures:

  • Installation of Knauf Thermoshell Internal Wall Insulation System (95mm) to the external perimeter walls of each flat including all framing and window reveals
  • Installation of Knauf 27mm Insulated Plasterboard to internal partition walls
  • Sundry joiner work including skirtings, window cills, facings, aprons and curtain plates
  • All associated electrical works including light switches and sockets
  • All taping/filling to new wall linings in preparation for decoration
  • Stripping and preparation of all other internal walls for decoration
  • Supply and placement of lining paper on all internal walls
  • Decoration of all new walls with two coats of emulsion
  • Decoration of all new timber including primer, undercoat and gloss
  • Rolling back and reinstatement of all carpets and underlay
  • Solid Wall Insulation Guarantee Agency (SWIGA) guarantees
  • Chartered Surveyors Report and Pre and Post EPCs.


In line with best practice, Abertay took the recommended ‘insulation first’ approach, improving the insulation performance of its houses, before improving space heating performance, which has provided their clients with warmer homes, and easier-to-control heating and improved comfort and wellbeing.

Taking a typical flat in Cheviot Crescent as an example, the Energy Performance Certificate prior to works commencing states that the property had a SAP Rating of 50, and a wall energy efficiency star rating of 1 (poor). The house was, therefore, failing the proposed EESSH (Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing) targets which stipulate a SAP rating of 65 for all Scottish RSLs (Registered Social Landlords) by 2020 for electrically heated flats, and 69 for gas heated flats.

On completion of the works, the property not only meets but exceeds EESSH guidelines for 2020, with its SAP rating having been upgraded to 71, with a wall energy efficiency star rating of 4 (‘good’).

Crucially, by literally keeping the heat in through internal wall insulation, Abertay has also protected its tenants from future price hikes to their energy bills and left them with more money in their pockets.

Callum Milne, Director of GoSustainable said:

“We wholeheartedly applaud Abertay Housing Association for driving ahead with these measures which have ensured that their properties are not only compliant, but exceeding guidelines when it comes to energy performance. We are delighted that, by identifying the funding available to them, they have managed to make such significant improvements to these properties, and to their tenants’ lives.”

Insulation - Internal Wall Insulation - Layers
Energy Efficiency Rating Achieved
Energy Efficiency Rating Achieved
Environmental Impact (CO2) Rating Achieved
Environmental Impact (CO2) Rating Achieved

We have found a trusted partner in GoSustainable which means that we can respond to these opportunities as they arise, within the context of us delivering an overall strategy of energy efficiency improvements across our stock. In many ways, our relationship with GoSustainable is worth a fortune as we are simply not in a position to react quickly enough to the ever-changing funding streams.

Without sustainable we would undoubtedly be missing financial opportunities if we attempted to do this ourselves.

Derek Black, Asset Manager, Abertay Housing Association