SBS has successfully completed an 18-month energy efficiency scheme for Citizen Housing in Coventry.
Worth almost £1.2 million, the scheme entailed installing external wall insulation and render to 118 solid-walled properties. Adaptations included the replacement or extension of soffits, facias and guttering, together with the installation of Switchee smart thermostats.
Eight of the properties were flats, which also benefited from roof replacements. SBS also installed new roofs over several outbuildings.
All but one of the properties were occupied during the works. The remaining unit was vacant and so the client decided to make it the subject of a zero-carbon retro-fit demonstrator project. It commissioned SBS to fit a raft of energy-saving systems, while also installing a new kitchen and bathroom to make the renovated property fully tenant-ready. Some of the most notable measures included:
- New floor insulation
- Internal wall insulation
- External wall insulation
- Loft insulation
- Flat roof insulation
- New windows and doors
- Smart thermostat
- New heating and ventilation system
The client worked closely with SBS staff, taking careful measurements of costs and energy savings; data that will eventually inform decisions about future energy efficiency spending and improvements.
More generally, the scheme presented a wider challenge, which was to deliver the necessary works safely during the emerging Covid pandemic. To support this, SBS established new procedures and facilities that reduced infection risks to a minimum.
This included creating a sanitisation station outside the properties, where operatives could clean their hands and put on PPE (mask, gloves and protective overshoes.) Staff arriving on site did not report in person to the site office but phoned in instead to report their presence. All staff attended weekly Toolbox Talks, at which Covid safety measures were emphasised, and new staff underwent safety inductions that clarified all relevant policies and procedures. In addition, site managers undertook weekly inspections to ensure that all infection control measures were being observed.
At the end of the scheme, Citizen’s building surveyor, Harvinder Aouilk emailed the senior management team to recognise the team’s keen focus on quality and safety. He wrote:
“During an early meeting, (I became) confident that SBS were capable of performing the task required. But to say “capable” is an understatement. The external support I had was exemplary. The project team have performed beyond my expectations. It was quickly obvious that their aims were aligned to my aspirations for quality and safety. Our Clerk of Works has commented that he considers the workmanship for this project to be the best he has seen. I concur.
“The contract was extended twice to accommodate additional properties, changes in specification, plus a first pilot for Citizen: a zero-carbon renovation. This was processed during some difficult times with the impact of Covid, lockdowns and Brexit. SBS successfully dealt with all these matters, giving us the ability to progress. I now regard SBS as a contractor that I can recommend and I look forward to future collaboration.”