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Insulation EPC boost for Victorian homeless project

by Jennie Ward

Actis Hybrid has played a key role in helping a victorian vicarage, which is being converted into flats for the homeless, achieve a band B EPC rating.

A Victorian vicarage which has been converted into flats for homeless people in Kent has achieved an astonishing band B EPC rating – up from Band E – thanks to its use of Actis Hybrid insulation.

The builders and project surveyor are delighted, but not surprised, that the refurbished building is so energy efficient.

The property, Christchurch Lodge, bought and refurbished by Ashford Borough Council as a more stable and cost-effective alternative to B&B accommodation for those without a roof over the heads, opens to its first residents this month.

The choice of Actis Hybrid was made by the council’s development surveyor, Darren Parrett, who was struck by the ability of the products to reduce thermal bridging when he took part in an Actis CPD training session a few years ago.

Above:  Liane Bayliss from Actis at the start of the project with Darren Parrett, the council’s development surveyor.

“This is a significant achievement in building energy performance, made all the more remarkable given the physical limitations of an existing 19th century building compared to a blank canvas design of a new-build scheme,” said Darren.

Its use fits in with the council’s commitment to using high-quality products and materials to ensure maximum build quality, environmental sustainability and energy efficiency.

Contractors Jenner created an internal stud wall inside the original brick, filling it with 125mm honeycomb insulation Actis Hybris and then adding insulating vapour control layer H Control Hybrid to eliminate thermal bridging – something with which the construction team were particularly pleased.

Hybris and HControl Hybrid were also used in the roof, with Hybris on its own in the ceilings.

As well as noting that the building feels very warm and cosy in colder weather, Darren also observed how cool it had been during the recent heatwave – one particularly welcome feature of the Actis Hybrid range, particularly with the UK’s increasingly hot summers.

The contractors said the products were very quick and easy to install – a comment frequently heard by the Actis team.

The former vicarage, which cost just shy of a million pounds to buy and refurbish, will be home to 25 people in eight flats as they await more permanent accommodation.

It is the second such property the council has purchased, with its sister home having provided a place of safety for 180 households over the past five years.

The money saved by accommodating homeless people there rather than in B&Bs – which cost around £268 a week for a small family – means the first project paid for itself in less than four years.

The council expects the new home to deliver similar savings for local council tax payers.Actis South East and London area sales manager Liane Bayliss said: “Darren was absolutely delighted to have achieved such an impressive EPC. It confirmed in real life what he’d learned on our CPD training course a few years ago. It was also good to hear that Jenner, the contractors, found it so easy to use. So many builders tell us this. It’s pretty much the number one comment we receive again and again.”

www.insulation-actis.com

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