In February 2018, Lancashire-based building contractor Sustainable Building Services (UK) Limited will start work on a new £2m energy efficiency scheme in Padiham. Commissioned by DREEAM – a European funded demonstration project – the work will seek to prove that larger scale refurbishments deliver greater and more cost-effective energy savings than schemes involving single properties alone.
The DREEAM project will target 75% energy reductions in the treated properties, driving ultimately towards an nZEB (nearly Zero Energy Building) standard. It will be piloted in three sites across Europe: in Lancashire, in Landskrona in Sweden, and in Treviso, Italy.
The Lancashire properties are managed by Places for People (PfP). They include a total of 108 units, comprising 36 flats and 72 houses, all lacking cavity walls. PfP selected the site because it offered significant potential for energy performance improvements. Proposed works include the fitting of external wall insulation, new energy-efficient storage heaters, hot water cylinders, mixer showers and solar photovoltaic panels on the roofs. The brief was intended to encourage a ‘whole-house’ approach to the works.
As a demonstration project, DREEAM aims to deliver accurate data about the effects of the different efficiency measures. Accordingly, its researchers plan to monitor energy performance before, during and after the works. They began in the summer of 2017 by conducting a battery of tests at a void property in Padiham. Here, they examined wall U-values, heat loss coefficient and air tightness. Built in the 1930s, the terraced house exhibited poor heat retention figures in comparison to modern building standards.
To encourage resident feedback, representatives of SBS, PfP and the insulation system designer PermaRock Products Ltd organised a customer consultation day in December. Held at a local nursery, the event drew more than 25 residents, who were able to view visualisations and product samples, ask questions and express their thoughts on the proposals as a whole. This feedback informed the final designs. Formal planning consent is expected later this month.
Work on the 108 Lancashire properties is expected to last 8 months.