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INCA Case Study: Abbeytown & Oughterside, Cumbria


Abbeytown & Oughterside

Project Type: Refurbishment

Building Type: Low Rise, Residential

Retrofit Designer: Framed Estates

System Designer: Structherm Ltd

Installer: Procast Building Contractors Ltd

System & Finish: Structherm EWI System + Silicone Render

U-value Before: 0.61 W/m2K

U-value Achieved: 0.29 W/m2K

This project was the Home Group’s first whole house retrofit programme in Allendale which included detailed customer engagement strategy.  The programme is part of multi-million-pound project to make 90 homes in Oughterside and Abbeytown more energy efficient and sustainable.

The project, backed by investment from the Government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF), delivered a range of benefits for customers, which made their homes much more energy efficient and brought them significant cost savings.

The northern-based housing association received £1.2m through the SHDF, which has been supplemented by Home Group to the tune of £3.3m, as part of its five-year retrofit delivery plan.

This project is the first of its kind to be completed by Home Group. Home Group looked at targeting some of its lowest performing off-gas estates in rural Cumbria to complete a whole house retrofit following a fabric first, low carbon technology approach. With the nature of this project, there has been many challenges and learnings faced along the way. However, with both Home Group and Procasts drive for delivering quality retrofit to benefit residents through our customer promise, this has flourished into providing high quality homes that are fit for the future, creating resilient communities and teams that can deliver future retrofit at scale across rural locations.

Structherm were asked to provide their expertise and knowledge to the project by providing a refurbishment EWI program to the 90 homes, making them more energy efficient and reducing costs and also carbon emissions.

Installation & Challenges

There have been many challenges surrounding the large scale works being carried out in Cumbria including local supply chain to complete PAS2030/35 retrofit works, rural, pepper potted housing stock and resident engagement.

Before the project took place, there was little desire for the works to take place by many residents. Reasons for this included access to lower cost fuels, not wanting the upheaval of works, not wanting change, concerns about air source heat pumps and little understanding of what these projects would involve and how it would benefit them. However, as the project was approved and taking on board the challenges that were faced, the resident engagement strategy started to evolve (resident engagement days, show home and contracts onsite, surveys, information booklets, meeting contractors/manufactures/energy advisers) and customer buy-in increased to a point where Home Group, Procast and Structherm were on track to deliver retrofit to 100% of homes that funding was applied for.

The End Result

Through working within the communities, Procast have created excellent working relationships with the customers.

The refurbishment project at Abbeytown and Oughterside has been a phenomenal success thanks to the hard work, dedication and expertise of everyone involved.

90 homes have benefitted from a U-Value of 0.61 W/m2K previously, to 0.29 W/m2K following the refurbishment.  The quote below speaks for itself, with massive savings on energy bills for all residents.  One bungalow has gone from 58D to 94A seeing a total estimated energy use decrease from 10,888kWh/yr to 5,564kWh/yr.


Jessica Scott from Home Group said

‘This project has not just focused on completing the works to achieve funding and government statistical targets, it has really focused on education and bringing the residents on the journey to Net Zero. SHDF Wave 1 is a fantastic example of what good practice is and what you can achieve from a group of likeminded people wanting to achieve something better for local communities and the industry. An absolutely incredible improvement and to hear all the positive stories from residents.  One customer on this same street was delighted to announce an energy bill reduction from £7 a day to 70p a day since the works have been completed!’

This project has not just focused on completing the works to achieve funding and government statistical targets, it has really focused on education and bringing the residents on the journey to Net Zero.

Home Group

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