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External wall insulation (EWI) by Saint-Gobain Weber, the leading formulator and manufacturer of innovative materials for the construction industry, has been specified for the thermal upgrade of over 1,400 homes in Willenhall, Coventry.  The properties are owned and managed by Whitefriars Housing, a housing and regeneration organisation responsible for approximately 18,000 homes across Coventry.
weber.therm XP EWI and one-coat render system was specified by Whitefriars’ in-house architects for its high thermal performance, speed and ease of application.  Due to the size of the project, and the requirement to meet the Community Energy Savings Programme (CESP) funding deadline, main contractor Wates Living Space appointed two Network Weber recommended applicators, ECL Contractors and Astley Facades, to work on specific neighbourhoods.
These 1950-60s homes, a mixture of lo-rise houses and 4–5 storey blocks of apartments and duplexes, are all of solid wall No Fines construction and have received a ‘whole house’ approach to their thermal recovery. A variety of pastel colours were selected for Willenhall with either a dry dash or scraped finish. In addition to the Saint-Gobain Weber EWI, double glazed windows have replaced single glazed fenestration and inefficient boilers have been upgraded.  Concrete and remedial work to balconies, communal areas and porches has also been carried out and a further programme of external improvements to fencing, landscaping and green areas is under way.
Prior to commencement of the project Saint-Gobain Weber commissioned thermographic surveys on two properties

to assess potential improvements after the application of EWI and to determine typical areas of heat loss.  The results confirmed that tenants in a ground floor maisonette, for example, could expect savings in energy costs of up to £310 per annum and an improved energy efficiency rating from 53 to 75 – the higher the rating the more energy efficient the property and the greater the reduction in energy costs.  This is based on a saving of almost 1,985kg of CO₂ per annum, with a potential to reach 2,300kg CO₂ saving per year.  This compares with 4,284kb of CO₂ emissions when the property was built.  The survey identified that the Environmental (CO₂) Impact Rating would improve from 50 to a potential of 78.  This is a measurement of the property’s CO₂ impact on the environment, the higher the rating the lower the CO₂ impact.  Calculations prepared by Saint-Gobain Weber indicated a target U-value of 0.28 W/m²K from 2.1 W/m²K would be achieved with the weber.therm XP EWI system
The BBA certificated and Energy Saving Trust recommended weber.therm XP is the versatile solution for upgrading non-traditional housing types.  Where speed is important this efficient system, using 60mm weber.therm PHS, phenolic insulation board, and standard meshcloth in conjunction with weber.therm M1 render, achieves outstanding results.  This revolutionary one-coat, through-colour mineral render dramatically reduces on site labour and associated costs by up to 50% in comparison with a traditional two coat system.  Recent improvements to this special formulation allow it to work in harmony with seasonal conditions achieving a same-day finish in the summer and a next-day finish in the winter which has contributed to the successful delivery of the project.  weber.therm M1 is suitable for spray or hand application and is algae and impact resistant. 
While improving the thermal performance of these homes EWI is responsible for dramatically improving the aesthetics of the neighbourhood.  Tenants have noticed great improvement in their heating bills while enjoying the transformation of the area. “The difference in the warmth of my home is amazing,” says one happy tenant.  “I have turned my thermostat down from 22 to 15 degrees and once the heating is off the house stays warmer for longer.  My house looks lovely and it’s a pleasure to live in the area now.”
Following the external improvement works carried out by the Whitefriars Housing Homeworks team, another resident who has benefited from the ‘green’ makeover, said: “My block is already re-rendered and looking smart and well cared for. When somewhere looks properly tended it encourages residents to take pride in where they live and it makes a real difference.”
For more information about this project, or for technical support, please contact Saint-Gobain Weber on 08703 330 070, or visit www.netweber  Customers in Ireland should call 028 9335 2999 or visit  A free download of the new for iPhone and iPad users is also available from iTunes and from Google Play for Android smartphones and tablet users.  Follow Saint-Gobain Weber on Twitter @SGWeberUK for the latest company news and updates.