The Oakwood Estate in Maesteg, South Wales represented the worst of economically deprived social housing in Wales. The properties were suffering from considerable distress with damp walls, decayed lintels, poor eave details and poor thermal performance. Years of financial neglect had left new social landlords Valleys 2 Coast with the choice to either demolish the whole estate, which would have broken the community, or carry out a community regeneration programme. The decision was taken to regenerate.
Michael Dyson Associates Limited provided design, contract management, CDMC, party wall and quantity surveying services and have certified the properties under its 30 year assured life scheme, made possible due to the tried and tested nature of the Wetherby EWI systems.
The Wetherby team were involved from the outset, not only active in the design criteria but also ensuring that the right specification was available within the budget constraints.
Prior to the installation of external wall insulation, works were carried out to remedy defects and as part of the overall improvement scheme roof mounted solar technologies were included.
60mm phenolic insulation was fixed to the existing substrate followed by a base coat and reinforcing mesh. The tenants were then given the choice of the final finishing coat from either dry dash, silicone render, brick slip or a combination. A co-ordinating Wetherby GRP canopy added the finishing touch.
The external wall insulation system reduced the U-value of the properties from an existing 2.25W/m²K to a highly efficient 0.28W/m²K. Tenants now live in warm dry homes and health issues associated with damp, cold conditions have drastically reduced, giving a financial payback to the health service. Stress related health problems have also been dramatically reduced.
Funding for the project came from the Welsh Assembly Government in the form of ‘Arbed’ funding. This not only provided funds for the works to be carried out but also created training and real job opportunities.
As with most socially deprived estates, vandalism was a reality that had to be overcome. By ‘sharing’ the scheme with the community and helping them develop a new feeling of a regenerated community spirit, this project has overcome not only the normal challenges in terms of design, aesthetics and carbon reduction targets but has helped re-build a community that had been deprived and ignored for many years.