Multi-storey (High-Rise) Decarbonisation Programme

Wigan, England

Project Value: £2.2m


This scheme involved installing external wall insulation to six high-rise residential blocks at Scholes Village in Wigan. The properties were occupied and included five 12-storey blocks, and an additional, more complex 10-storey block.

The £2.2m scheme was commissioned because, another contractor had previously installed an external wall insulation system (based on phenolic foam) which had failed. It had applied the system to all six of the blocks, one of which had previously been clad with a cage system containing polystyrene insulation. Failures had occurred on all six blocks and, with a few years, the buildings were suffering from water ingress and dampness on internal walls. They also exhibited algal growth, and cracking and discolouration of the external render. At one of the towers, a large section of rendered phenolic insulation had become completely detached from the building and had fallen to the ground.

Keen to allay residents’ concerns over the mechanical stability of the remaining cladding, Wigan and Leigh Homes (WLH), took the decision to strip the old EWI system and, using insurance funding, to install a new, BRE-accredited, SWIGA-approved system in its place. After a lengthy consultation process, SBS was selected as the preferred contractor. We were tasked with removing the existing EWI system and replacing it with a state-of-the art PermaRock Mineral Fibre system specifically designed for the scheme.

The project

We secured the works on the basis of our experience of high-rise installations, our strong financial position, and our SWIGA membership. (SBS is one of a small number of contractors approved to deliver SWIGA-guaranteed work on high-rise buildings.) Another important consideration was our strong relationship with the EWI system supplier, PermaRock Products Ltd.

As part the selection process, we took the client and insurers to visit a number of multiple high-rise residential sites where we had previously installed PermaRock EWI systems. Since 2012, we had installed PermaRock Mineral Fibre EWI systems to over 35 high rise tower blocks; 10 of these schemes also involved stripping-off failed systems. Collectively, the senior management team at SBS has experience of installing external wall insulation systems to hundreds of high-rise buildings throughout the UK.


We made steady progress on site, delivering on budget and in line with the agreed schedule. Strict quality control procedures ensured that the exterior wall insulation system was installed precisely to specification, and effective resident liaison helped to ensure speedy completion with minimal ‘no access’ issues.

We completed our work on the first block and, on the strength of our success, we were awarded the contract to complete the remaining towers. We undertook the remaining work in phases and, in all cases, provided the client with a PermaRock manufacturer’s guarantee.

Resident surveys revealed high levels of satisfaction with the work and the scheme was completed with a record of zero defects and 100% handover success.

Insurance Funding via Client
No. of Properties
1 x 10-storey + 5 x 12-storey residential blocks
PAS 2035:2019 / 2035:2019 Roles (SBS Supplier Network)
EEM Installer
PAS Energy Efficiency Measures
External Wall Insulation
Associated works
EWI Adaptations / Concrete Repairs / Structural Steel Work