Shropshire Towns & Rural Housing (STAR) has completed work to improve the energy efficiency and appearance of 26 Cornish style prefabs in Gobowen.
The improvements to the properties at West Place and Hammond Place represent the first phase of a Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) project.
The exterior was upgraded with an external wall insulation system and a sleek render finish, STAR says. All windows and doors were replaced for enhanced energy efficiency, and roofs received complete renovations. Insulation was improved throughout, including a “generous” 450mm in the roof void.
Rainwater goods were replaced, soffits were upgraded, and ventilation was enhanced with new units. Additionally, “stylish” entrance door canopies added both “aesthetics and functionality”.
The main contractor was Sustainable Building Services (UK) Ltd, a seasoned expert in retrofit energy efficiency projects. The total cost of the project was £1.67m, with a grant of £280,000 provided by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ).
According to STAR, the results of this transformation are impressive. Not only have the properties received an upgrade in their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings, moving from ‘B and D’ to ‘Band C,’ but it is said they have also immediately improved the internal comfort conditions for residents.
Additionally, energy usage and heating costs for residents are expected to decrease, the housing association adds, contributing to the reduction of fuel poverty. The project also aims to combat damp and mould issues by increasing the internal surface temperatures of walls and ceilings.
Harpreet Rayet, STAR’s managing director, said: “We are delighted to have completed the first phase of this important retrofit decarbonisation project in West Place and Hammonds Place, Gobowen.
“This project has been a great success, delivering significant benefits to the residents through improved energy efficiency and quality of life. We are proud to have contributed to raising the EPC values of these homes, making a positive impact on the local community and the environment. We look forward to continuing our work with our partners to make a real difference in the lives of those we serve.”
Councillor Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s portfolio holder for housing and assets, added: “This an excellent programme that not only upgrades the housing stock, but brings a real benefit to the tenants in terms of warmer more energy-efficient homes and savings on their bills.
“I was delighted to visit the site earlier in the year to see the works in progress. Climate change is something that affects all of us and by taking steps like this we are supporting our ambition to achieve net zero, both as an organisation and for the county.”
The completion of this phase of the Gobowen EWI project is said to be a significant step forward in the journey towards more sustainable and energy-efficient social housing. STAR says that with the support of initiatives like SHDF, communities are not only experiencing immediate improvements in their living conditions, but also contributing to the UK’s net-zero carbon emissions targets.
Steve Roberts, regional director at Sustainable Building Services (UK) Ltd, said: “This project has delivered a wide array of benefits to the residents through our retrofit decarbonisation works. As well as the tangible financial effect of reducing fuel bills, the effects also ripple out into better physical health.
“By raising the EPC values, we’re raising the quality of living for each and every one of the people who calls Gobowen their home. On top of this, whenever working in a community like this, we like to stretch the positive impact we bring further. For Gobowen, we have contributed a roof renovation for the local scout group, which we were more than happy to organise.
Image credit: MEE KO DONG/Shutterstock
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