Detailed survey helps to improve housing for the vulnerable

CPC’s purpose is to work with our partners – our clients and suppliers – to deliver better buildings, homes and communities.

We’re a not-for-profit organisation, so one of the ways we do this is to invest any surplus we make into our Community Benefit Fund. Through this, we support our clients through social value initiatives for local communities in the North and Midlands.

Ahead of our most recent Community Benefit Fund project, we invited all local authorities, social landlords, ALMOs and Tenant Management Organisations to nominate one of their housing schemes for a stock condition survey, to help spot any required repairs and maintenance, but also to identify what energy efficiency measures could be implemented to bring the stock up to Government decarbonisation targets.

This report could then be used to apply for Government grants or, where possible, we may be able to fund some of the improvements through the Community Benefit Fund.

After careful consideration of the applications, we commissioned Rybka, one of the suppliers on our Energy Efficiency Consultancy (N8C) framework, to carry out the survey at a Tyne Housing property, funding the project to a total of £5,700.

 

The project

Tyne Housing is a charitable housing association that provides support to some of the North East’s most vulnerable people, some of whom have been excluded from other housing options.

Alongside learning, wellbeing and other initiatives, the charity offers more than 360 beds across the region, made up of shared houses, specialist supported provisions, smaller shared flats and self-contained flats.

Thanks to the Community Benefit Fund, we were able to offer the stock condition survey at one of their properties in South Shields, a four-storey late Victorian building with a number of bedrooms and shared living spaces.

Carried out by Rybka, the surveyor made a visual inspection of the property, and reported back on its condition and recommendations for energy efficiency measures.

The scope of the report included an overview of the building fabric and its construction, mechanical and electrical installations, systems condition and age (and when replacements may be required) and works requiring immediate attention.

Although the survey and report were specific to the property, Tyne Housing may be able to use the data gathered and the principles in the report to make an assessment of other properties across its portfolio.

 

The solutions

Rybka provided a standard stock condition survey, which identified some issues that could be addressed immediately to avoid further costs for Tyne Housing in the future. These included internal decoration, replacement of services such as extract ventilation, decoration of external metalwork, patch repointing and minor high level repairs, and the replacement of floor finishes and internal doors.

However, the report also highlighted where energy efficiency measures could be introduced, allowing the housing association to consider these alongside necessary repairs, maintenance and replacements.

Measures recommended in the report included those relating to the building fabric to reduce energy demand, such as insulation to the inside of the external walls – which could be done alongside internal redecoration – more robust roof insulation, and addressing air tightness, for example by checking for gaps between the floorboard and around skirting boards and sealing them with filler, when the floor finishes are changed as identified in the stock condition report.

Other measures included those to address energy efficiency – including installation of high-efficiency LED lighting, consideration of more fuel-efficient heat sources when the boiler is replaced, and replacement of taps and WCs with low-flow fittings during the regular replacement schedule.

Carbon emissions at the property could also be reduced, with installation of a solar photovoltaic array on the southwestern-facing roof, and air source heat pump technology.

Kevin Smith, head of maintenance and compliance for Tyne Housing said: “CPC has done such a good job. This is one of the most detailed reports that I have ever received, as the saying goes it appears that there is no stone unturned. This is a document that I will be referring to for many years to come and is the level of report I would like to see for all my buildings. I can’t praise this piece of work highly enough and I would be more than happy to use CPC’s services again.”

Gary Cawley, director of CPC, said: “We’re really pleased to be able to provide Tyne Housing with this stock condition and energy efficiency report, that we hope they’ll be able to use as the basis for a wider assessment of their portfolio. For hard-pressed housing teams, it can often be difficult to find the headspace and resource to conduct stock condition surveys, let alone work energy efficiency measures into future plans, but it’s so important with net zero 2050 on the horizon and all the regulations it’s likely to entail.”

Energy efficiency reports can be sourced via CPC’s Energy Efficiency Consultancy (N8C) framework.

All surplus from CPC’s work is returned to the Community Benefit Fund, to support our clients.

We've now opened applications for 2021-2022's community benefit fund. Send your projects over to adil.kotia@cpconstruction.org.uk

 

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