INCA Case Study: Wester Hailes, Edinburgh


Wester Hailes, Edinburgh

Project Type: Refurbishment

Building Type: Low Rise, Residential

Architect: N/A

System Designer: Wetherby Building Systems Ltd

Installer: A C Whyte & IRS

System & Finish: Wetherby A1 System + Mineral Render

U-value Before: 1.36 W/m2k

U-value Achieved: 0.28 W/m2k

The first largescale A1 Rated EWI pilot scheme for Scotland has now completed the initial phases.

Over 1000 Edinburgh council and privately rented homes in Wester Hailes have been upgraded with a Non-Combustible EWI system as part of this ground-breaking scheme to make tenement blocks more energy efficient, with a fabric first approach.

The innovative pilot area covering Murrayburn, Hailesland and Dumbryden is in the most deprived 5% of Edinburgh’s area, where Household income levels are 37% lower than the Edinburgh Average. Wester Hailes comprises an astonishing 1400 flats/homes and 181 building, which are to be completed over a 3-year period.

The client City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) initiated the project as hundreds of previously council-owned properties no longer met modern energy efficiency requirements after being purchased by former tenants during the right-to-buy scheme.

City of Edinburgh Council, specified Wetherby Building Systems innovative A1 Façade System as the chosen EWI system for the project, due to its impressive non-combustible qualities. The A1 System sets new standards in external wall insulation fire performance. This would bring each property/building up to and surpassing energy efficiency standards.

100mm ROCKWOOL A1 Stone Wool Insulation was used, which provides the thermal benefit of the system, which is coated in Wetherby’s K+A A1 Scrim Adhesive. This is based predominantly on mineral and non-combustible raw material such as quartz, limestone, cement and lime, which ensures perfect adhesion between substrates and insulation board.

The system was finished with Wetherby’s Heck ED Mineral Render and Heck Silicone Paint, which is ideal for use with stone wool insulation, providing great breathability. Following a range of CGI digital overlays provided by Wetherby to help decide on a colour scheme, it was decided a white render finish would be used to the majority of the buildings in shade 0500N, then each building has a contrasting pop of colour in various, purple, blue, green, orange and red tones.

Due to the size of the project, the first group of phases required multiple contractors to install the works simultaneously. Two Wetherby recognised contractors A C Whyte and IRS have both done a fantastic job of installing the Wetherby A1 System. The companies also have a long-standing relationship with Wetherby and are experienced with the systems.

There had to be a strategic approach to working out which properties of the 1400 would be completed first. This had to look at:

  • Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) rankings with the Lowest 5% & 10% areas to be targeted first.
  • Stock condition findings, blocks most in need of investment.
  • Tenure mix -focusing on areas where the Council owns the majority of homes.

Building effective communication channels with residents was essential of the project because the blocks are of mixed tenure (with 29% privately owned), which meant formal permissions had to be obtained to allow the refurbishment to go ahead.

Block by block engagement with owners, landlords and tenures was completed regularly, with tenant liaison day also completed with A C Whyte and IRS. A tenant liaison officer was also employed specifically to be a point of contact.

Even though the pilot is only half way through, already there has been a standout transformation at one of Edinburgh’s most deprived areas, with the councils aims of delivering better thermal performance, reducing fuel poverty and working towards EESSH2 standards, met.

Owners and tenants are experiencing more energy efficient homes, with the u-value for the project being reduced to a tremendous 0.28 W/(m²K) from 1.36 W/(m²K).

Each estate has a new fresh look, compared to the previous drab and dilapidated buildings and this will total 181 blocks and 1,400 homes by the time the pilot finishes. Once complete, the council aim to roll out across the city. The first of Its kind for Scotland!

Housing convener, councillor Kate Campbell, said: “Bringing all our housing stock up to a good condition, making homes energy efficient, warm and affordable to heat is very important, both for tenants and for owners in these blocks.

“We can now invest in many more homes making much needed improvements to homes and blocks across the city.”

Owners and tenants are experiencing more energy efficient homes, with the u-value for the project being reduced to a tremendous 0.28 W/(m²K) from 1.36 W/(m²K).

Wetherby Building Systems

INCA Case Studies – view all INCA project case studies: