Case Studies

Readiness and Regeneration: The Hamilton & Woodall Project

Getting Walsall Social Housing 2023 Ready Early

One of the most recent of properties to be upgraded in Walsall’s community wide regeneration programme is the 8 storey Hamilton and Woodall blocks. WHG specified external wall insulation upgrdaing and the install of a district heating system to address the challenge of fuel poverty in these tower blocks

Since 2013, WHG (Walsall Housing Group) have invested over 400 million in home improvements and energy efficiency upgrading. Their core objective is to ensure Hamilton and Woodall and similar properties all contribute towards their “Readiness 2023” pledge.

Readiness 2023 is a strategy to meet statutory requirements in terms of SAP efficiency (Standard Assessment Procedure for the Energy Rating of Dwellings.) Every property must achieve a minimum a D rating, a year earlier than current legislation requires.

Hamilton House & Woodall House, Walsall

16.2% of Walsall householders (17,030 households) are in fuel poverty Walsall ranked 9th out of 326 local authority areas in England 60% of Hamilton and Woodall’s occupancy were classified fuel poor.

As well as meeting regional SAP efficiency requirements, the project was also expected to contribute to WHG’s ongoing challenge of tackling fuel poverty in the region.

Using the Low Income High Costs (LIHC) definition of fuel poverty, 16.2% of Walsall householders are in fuel poverty, which is 17,030 households. Walsall ranked 9th out of 326 local authority areas in England. Tackling the fuel poverty pandemic in the region is the highest priority for WHG.

Before the fabric first retrofit of Hamilton and Woodall, it was estimated more than 60% of the occupancy were classified fuel poor.

A Surefire Route to Procurement

Procured through the unique OJEU compliant framework, Surefire were nominated by Walsall Housing Group to install Soltherm External Wall insulation and a Heatrae Sadia Heat Interface Unit district heating system to the Hamilton and Woodall tower blocks.

Facade Insulation

The decision was made to overclad the tower blocks using the best in class Soltherm Ultimate HD Silicone system.

Soltherm Ultimate Silicone EWI system is a BBA approved external wall insulation system incorporating Dual Density Mineral Wool (DDMW) with a silicone render finish, designed to increase a building’s thermal efficiency & weather resistance.

  • A1 Non-combustible insulation material
  • Increased acoustic resistance
  • Mechanically & adhesively fixed
  • High vapour permeability
  • Single or Double Mesh (HD) systems
  • BBA Certified
  • ETA Approved
  • NSAI Certified
  • NHBC Approved

The technical and architectural benefits typical of a premium external wall insulation such as this include: 

  • Thermal efficiency improvement to 0.28W/mK (from < 0.45W/mK) 
  • Weather-resistant, self-cleaning Silicone finish in vibrant natural tones
  • 60 year design life 
  • Immediate visual improvement to property

Heat Interface Unit (HIU) District Heating

HIUs were installed to provide central heating and domestic hot water, to individual properties within the multi dwelling blocks. Served by centralised heating plant, this innovative system helped reduce fuel bulls for the residents.

The Result

  • Fuel poor occupancy reduced to >10%
  • Both properties achieved a C rating for Energy Efficiency
  • Project nominated for an INCA award

The successful installation of the Soltherm Ultimate HD EWI system and the HIU district heating directly reduced fuel poor occupancy to below 10%. The project also achieved recognition in relation to WHG’s Readiness 2023 campaign, with both the Hamilton and Woodall properties receiving a C rating post completion. This even exceeded the required 2024 standard, 4 years ahead of schedule.

To ensure residents realised the maximum potential savings, when complete, Surefire and WHG jointly delivered energy awareness sessions to the occupants.



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