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It’s always nice to be appreciated, so we were pleased to see an article published by the Social Housing Retrofit Accelerator, which focused on the benefits reported by a resident of one of our most recent decarbonisation schemes.

The story features an interview with Miriam Pagett, a resident of the Burton area. She has been a beneficiary of various “transformational retrofit measures” that we installed on behalf of Trent & Dove Housing under Wychavon District Council’s £5.8 million SHDF Demonstrator project. These measures included new energy efficient windows, roof insulation, ventilation, heating controls and external wall insulation.

In the article, Miriam describes the “amazing” changes that resulted from the works and notes that she would certainly recommend the measures to anyone seeking to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Notably, she also applauds the great efforts of SBS resident liaison officer Cath, who kept her appraised of all developments and forthcoming works.

“It’s very gratifying to be recognised in this way,” notes SBS chair, Derek Horrocks. “The whole SBS team – and its various supply chain partners – work very hard to communicate effectively with residents and to deliver tangible improvements to their homes. We really do make them our number one priority; being able to engage with residents effectively is absolutely central to being able to deliver efficiently, with minimal disruption and with greater certainty on costs.

“We always seek to make the point that early engagement with stakeholders is vital if projects are going to be delivered reliably to the new PAS standards, and this includes setting up clear procedures for resident communication. This project for Trent and Dive is a great example of that, and I’m delighted that our employees’ efforts have been appreciated.”

The interview was posted by the Social Housing Retrofit Accelerator – a service backed by the government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Its role is to help social housing providers to put more effective bids into the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.

This is not the first time that our projects have been studied by BEIS and other notable bodies. In 2016, SBS featured in the influential “Each Home Counts” report that helped to inform the development of the new PAS standards. The following year, we were cited in a BEIS-commissioned report titled “Understanding Best Practice in Deploying External Solid-Wall Insulation in the UK.” More recently, we welcomed observers from BEIS, Trustmark and National Housing Federation to sites such as Reading and Uttoxter, in order to demonstrate how we were putting new standards and procedures into practice.

In February 2022, the Social Housing Retrofit Accelerator hosted an online masterclass that highlighted the benefits of delivering retrofit projects at scale. It focused on the award-winning DREEAM community regeneration scheme, which we delivered in 2018 on behalf of the social housing provider Places for People.

“We have adapted many procedures in order to be able to deliver effectively and at scale while adhering to the new PAS 2030 / 2035:2019 standards,” said Derek. “It’s clear from feedback that our systems and our communications are working well.

“There are all sorts of technical considerations, of course, but a really central point is that the resident must always remain the focus and the priority. That’s something that is rightly emphasised in the documentation and bid criteria for SHDF Wave 2, and it’s essential for ensuring that projects mobilise and are successful from day one.”

In the interview, which is published as a blog on LinkedIn, Miriam also comments on the quality of the brick effect finish on her new external wall insulation. She refers to a high-performance EWI system with a brick slip finish, which was designed and manufactured by PermaRock Products Limited.

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