The Welsh Assembly's Arbed* scheme was launched to upgrade the energy efficiency of existing housing stock in some of the most deprived parts of Wales. Many of these properties are hard to treat as their solid external walls make them unsuitable for more commonly prescribed thermal solutions such as cavity wall insulation. Arbed finds new ways to boost the thermal insulation of the properties through installing external wall insulation while at the same time providing an economic boost to these areas through the creation of jobs and provision of vocational training. For the residents of the Ty Coch social housing scheme on the outskirts of Caerphilly, the Arbed project has been a win-win solution from the outset.
The ROCKWOOL solution
The project incorporated 284 houses, each with single skin, solid external walls. Because the walls had no internal cavity ROCKWOOL used a whole-house approach to energy efficiency by supplying its ROCKSHIELD® external insulation system. Over 8000 m2 of 90 mm, breathable, insulation slabs were installed. The slabs were then finished with a two-coat render system.
The ROCKSHIELD® insulation system was installed by ROCKWOOL approved contractors on a street-by-street basis to help minimise costs through economies of scale. One of the contractors was local firm Instaat Projects Ltd whose employees were fully trained by ROCKWOOL specifically to enable them to participate in the project.
To help minimise the amount of waste sent to landfill, ROCKWOOL also provided a recycling service, collecting insulation off-cuts and returning them to then Bridgend factory for recycling.
ROCKWOOL expertise was not confined to insulation expertise on this project; the company was also instrumental in assisting United Welsh Housing Association to secure additional funding. Phase one of the project was part-funded via the Arbed programme. Using experience gained on similar projects, ROCKWOOL were able to provide a critical link between the housing provider and the UK government's Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) to enable United Welsh Housing Association to secure extra funding to enable the Ty Coch Estate makeover to be fully implemented.
- Residents have warmer, more comfortable homes
- Heating bills are minimised
- Render finish gives each property a bright, fresh appearance
- Local joinery business are now fully trained installers
* The Arbed programme is Wales' Strategic Energy Performance Investment Programme. The Arbed programme supports the One Wales ambitions to reduce climate change, eradicate fuel poverty and boost economic development and regeneration in Wales (Source: Welsh Assembly Government).