Durham Retrofit Programme
Keegans are working with our sister company ECD Architects on the retrofit of 108 homes across 3 villages in Durham. The homes are owned by Livin, but we are working for Mears Group, who are the appointed contractor to deliver this retrofit project, which has funding through the SHDF Wave 1. We supported Mears in their successful bid and have completed retrofit assessments, modelling and detailed design work and the work has progressed to partial completion. The homes were built in the 1960s and are cavity wall construction semi-detached bungalows.
Initial dimensional surveys accompanied by Retrofit Assessments of the homes and some limited opening up works gave us a good understanding of the construction and condition of the bungalows, as well as information of how their occupants used heating patterns and cooking/drying facilities and where available fuel bills. This allowed us to start initial energy modelling of archetypes, to understand the areas of the buildings’ fabric that were losing most heat, and hence where our attention should be focussed. We found that the bungalows were particularly poor performing, despite having cavity wall and loft insulation already installed, due to their poor form factor – having a high surface area exposed to the elements relative to a relatively small internal footprint.
While all homes have been modelled in SAP using Elmhurst Design SAP, we also checked each property archetype in more detail using PHPP. A particular benefit of this was in creating clear graphical output demonstrating the energy reduction impact of the proposed measures. This meant we could discuss stages of retrofit and options with the client at an early stage, with proposals backed up by actual energy savings. We looked at the cumulative impact of a range of measures, including External Wall Insulation, floor insulation, loft insulation, and double or triple glazing.
Works are now nearing completion across the 3 sites, and residents in the properties that have been completed are already reporting that their houses feel warmer and their energy usage is lower.
The ability to work closely as a team of Retrofit Assessors, Coordinators and Designers has been key to the success of the project, ensuring that information has been relayed to those who need it in a timely fashion and that there is a consistent thread of information as decisions are taken.
We have ensured that all works are PAS compliant by working closely with the contractors and subcontractors, ensuring all involved have the relevant qualifications and Trustmark accreditation.