Hearth Place: Offsite Construction of New Homes
Location: Cumnock, East Ayrshire
SPA Partner: East Ayrshire Council
SPA Appointed Company: CCG (Scotland) Ltd
Hearth Place was a project undertaken by CCG (Scotland) Ltd in Cumnock, East Ayrshire, on behalf of East Ayrshire Council. The project was to convert and upgrade 7 Uni-Seco Mark III type properties in the form of two-bedroom flat roofed bungalows constructed of a resin-bonded plywood timber framing clad in flat asbestos cement sheeting with a wood-wool core.
These properties were part of the UK government-led Temporary Housing Programme to meet housing need stemming from the aftermath of World War 2 bombing that required for large numbers of houses in a rapid timeframe leading to widespread use of pre-fabrication.
However, the properties were not designed to last more than 15 years and, as such, needed to be demolished or upgraded. After speaking with the residents, it was felt that they couldn’t be displaced after such a long time in the community therefore CCG innovatively retained the inner-leaf of the external walls, internal partitions, ground-floor, ceilings, fittings and fixtures by utilising off-site manufacturing techniques to create new wall panels for insertion within the existing shell.
The project has transformed these once “temporary” dwellings providing modern, comfortable homes and extending their lifespan for another 30 years.
Significant energy savings are now being felt by the residents. Each property can expect a reduction in energy costs of 75% equating to a £2,635 saving per annum. The residents have improved, heathier living environments with warmer and drier homes that have an enhanced and improved external appearance. Overall, the new specification of the homes offers much-reduced maintenance than the experienced in their previous state.
East Ayrshire Council’s primary focus for this project was to deliver a solution that considered the needs of the community and did not displace the vulnerable residents whilst offering an upgraded living environment. Due to the standard of construction, East Ayrshire Council are assured that the residents will always have access to modern, sustainable, housing solutions that responds to their needs.
In October 2018, SPA held their first ever awards ceremony to celebrate and highlight the fantastic projects being deliver through their frameworks throughout Scotland. The Hearth Place project won their category and was awarded the Most Innovative Project Award.
“This project clearly represented a significant technical challenge. It is commendable that the project achieved HFVN and delivered fuel poverty measures also. An impressive response to a challenging brief.” - Nile Istephan, Chief Executive, Eildon Housing Association and SPA Awards expert judge.
SPA’s NH1 Framework has been successfully renewed as NH2 Offsite Construction of New Homes Framework, which is valid until April 2023.