Client: New Charter Housing Trust
Approx. Value: £260,000


New Charter Housing Trust is a social landlord comprising New Charter Homes, Gedling Homes and Aksa Homes. It operates in Greater Manchester and Nottingham, managing a portfolio of nearly 19,000 residential properties.

Under the Greater Manchester ‘Go Early’ initiative, it launched a pilot scheme aimed at improving the energy efficiency of its properties and thereby enhancing living standards for residents. The project - to re-insulate 38 low rise properties -  was funded by the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, a consortium of ten councils. They had been awarded £3 million by the Department of Energy and Climate Change to allocate to Green Deal energy efficiency projects.

Sustainable Building Services (UK) bid for the work on the basis of an open tender and was duly commissioned to deliver it. The properties were located in Droylsden, Ashton and Hyde.

The Project:

The solid walled properties required a significant degree of insulation to bring them up to modern standards but the front elevations of many of the houses featured intricate brickwork that would have been obscured by an external wall insulation system. As a result, Sustainable Building Services conceived a hybrid solution that would obviate the need to secure planning permission for the refurbishment. It proposed installing internal wall insulation (IWI) to the front elevations, thereby preserving the look of the buildings, and installing external wall insulation (EWI) to the rear elevations and some of the gables.

The re-insulation work was proposed as an eight week scheme, running between January and March. For the interior, a pre-fabricated, modular insulation system was used. Manufactured by UK-based Matilda’s Planet, the system has a narrow profile and creates a sealed air gap between the existing and new, internal wall. On the external elevations, Sustainable Building Services installed high performance EWI insulation boards, over which it applied a decorative, weatherproof render. The company also delivered a range of general adaptations and other energy efficiency measures.


Despite one of the wettest winters in British history, the insulation systems were installed successfully and ahead of schedule.

For Sustainable Building Services, the project was notable for being the first hybrid insulation scheme to be delivered with a guarantee from the Solid Wall Insulation Guarantee Agency (SWIGA), of which the company is an Approved Installer member.

SWIGA’s role is to provide domestic customers with an independent guarantee for solid wall insulation systems. These can be external,  internal or hybrid solutions. The SWIGA guarantee dovetails with the requirements of the Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) but it only applies to SWIGA approved installers who are using SWIGA-accredited  solid wall insulation systems such as those made by Permarock Products, Weber and Wetherby Building Systems. Applicable to eligible properties of four storeys or less, the guarantee provides up to 25 years of cover for defective materials, design or workmanship. The guarantee costs £125 per property and the installer applies for it on the client’s behalf.

Now complete, the project is expected to save residents several hundred pounds every year on household energy bills and should result in a significantly improved standard of living.

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