Blackpool Council has developed a contractors’ code of conduct and guidance for solid wall insulation (SWI) developed by a team led by Edwards Hart Senior Associate Nick Heath, with input by Edwards Hart Director John Edwards and other experts from the STBA. The code and guidance will ensure quality of work and help preserve the character of Victorian and Edwardian terraces. Contractors who sign up to the code of conduct will be included on an approved list of SWI contractors.

The documents are for contractors working on private properties and are a response to common problems identified in a number of recent SWI projects across Lancashire, such as poor workmanship, inconsistent quality and negative effects on the fabric of solid walled buildings. It highlighted the need to develop a workable and effective way of limiting ad-hoc, poor quality and inappropriate retrofits.

“We had two main concerns: to make sure SWI was fit for purpose so it helps to reduce fuel bills, and preserving the heritage value of the building and the street scene,” said Maggie Hayes Project Officer (Energy Efficiency) – Housing Strategy at Blackpool Council.

The Decision Making Protocol is structured around a series of decision routes that design teams can take to reach appropriate decisions for retrofit projects. It allows them to make decisions on whether to implement SWI; whether external or internal SWI is more appropriate; and what considerations are necessary before, during and after installation to minimise risk and maximise benefits.

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