Ocean Housing Case Study

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Ocean Housing Case Study

After the war houses needed to be built quickly to address the housing shortage and the Cornish Unit, with its distinctive mansard roof was created by the Central Cornwall Concrete & Artificial Stone Co. to help tackle the homelessness problem. The homes had limited life expectancy, but many are still around today having stood the test of time. However, they are energy inefficient and are not easy to insulate and modernise which has led to them being ignored and neglected.

…. an original whole-house design which carries a 25-year insurance backed guarantee from GDGC and increased ECO funding …

Property Tectonics (pt) was commissioned by Ocean Housing Group to provide the association with a technical evaluation of their Cornish type 1 and type 2 properties and to investigate innovative ways to improve their energy efficiency and explore opportunities for the improvements to obtain energy company obligation (ECO)  funding in accordance with Ofgem guidelines.  Historically only the ground floor of a Cornish property had been eligible for ECO funding for external wall insulation. The difficult to design and treat mansards, classified as a wall under ECO, had not previously been considered viable and eligible. This presented an innovation challenge pt could not refuse and the company has now created an original whole-house design which carries a 25-year insurance backed guarantee from GDGC and increased ECO funding from leading energy supplier, E.ON.

Throughout the process pt has worked with Ocean Housing’s estate team, providing technical surveys of all properties and delivering monitoring and construction management support. This included dealing with technical issue on site to reduce costs by improving buildability, working alongside Ocean’s PAS accredited installer. Property Tectonics’ asset management software Lifespan was used as a collaborative tool to gather and store asset and key quality assurance installation data, for use by all stakeholders, including utility supplier E.ON; satisfying PAS and Ofgem’s stringent requirements throughout the process.

Ocean Housing Group has now delivered the first tranche of measures which has doubled the amount of ECO funding previously made available, providing warm, well insulated bedrooms that were previously left cold and draughty. Not surprising feedback from residents has been extremely positive; both the external appearance and internal comfort have been improved beyond what everyone thought possible.

This is the first ECO funded project of this type and has been a fantastic example of how when a housing provider working closely with a trusted professional designer and advisor to lead, engage and coordinate other key stakeholders. These include the client, the installer, material manufacturers, insurance companies, energy companies and most importantly the resident. When this is done effectively traditional barriers can be removed and real progress and improvements can be made.