Hearth Place is a project undertaken by CCG in Cumnock, East Ayrshire, on behalf of East Ayrshire Council comprising the conversion and upgrade of 7 Uni-Seco Mark III type properties in the form of two-bedroom flat-roofed bungalows.
These 7 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 required to be demolished or upgraded. After speaking with the residents, it was felt they could not be displaced after such a long time in the community therefore CCG innovatively retained the existing outer-leaf of the building whilst removing the inner-leaf of the external walls, internal partitions, ground–floor, ceilings and fittings & 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 at least another 30 years.
The nature of the contract was a challenge for CCG with each of the properties spread around a culdesac that is occupied by other properties and people. It was therefore crucial that the works and the overall solution best served the entire community as well as the resident. In retaining the outer shell, CCG had a vast restriction in space due to the consideration of the structure itself and the proximity of the adjacent buildings. This meant that the application of traditional materials and the movement and storage of said materials was severely compromised. Secondary to that, the use of traditional methods as opposed to off-site technology would take longer to construct and therefore cause greater impact on the adjacent properties. Taking these into account, the use of the CCG OSM ‘iQ’ panelised timber frame system brought huge on-site benefits: the lightweight solution is craned into place and erected faster incurring time savings; it minimises material use and storage to simplify site management and with the system being manufactured off-site, fewer vehicle movements reduces the impact on the compact streets of the neighbourhood.
Inside, the properties focus on resident needs with all properties meet Housing for Varying Needs standards to adhere to those with mobility issues. Such items include wet rooms and the replacing of older fixtures and fittings with including water-saving taps, restricted-flow showers and low-flush WCs all leading to better water efficiency. Significant energy savings are also afforded to residents to help reduce fuel poverty. Each property can expect a reduction in energy costs of 75% equating to a £2,635 saving p/a for. The residents now have improved healthier living environments with warmer and drier homes along with an enhanced and improved external appearance.
Overall, the new specification offers much-reduced maintenance than that experienced in their previous state.
Hearth Place was procured through the Scottish Procurement Alliance.
East Ayrshire Council
SPA Most Innovative Project 2018