Chesterfield Borough Council - EWI to 1300 Properties


In December 2014, having won a place on a four year solid wall insulation framework managed by Efficiency East Midlands (EEM), Sustainable Building Services was commissioned to install external wall insulation to 558 council-owned properties in Chesterfield. This proved to be the start of a productive working relationship that, by 2018, had entered its fourth consecutive phase.

The initial £3.2m scheme entailed installing external wall insulation and weatherproof decorative render to a mixture of No Fines concrete houses and low-rise blocks in three different districts. The installation of EWI was intended to improve the solid-walled buildings' energy efficiency and to improve residents' quality of life. In addition to fitting external insulation, the proposed works also included installing top-up loft insulation to around 300 homes, adaptation works and fitting new fibreglass canopies to some properties.

SBS made detailed mobilisation plans in the pre-contract stage to ensure that it could engage quickly with local suppliers and key stakeholders such as training bodies and social enterprises.


The Project:

With the benefit of local knowledge and the support of locally appointed tenant liaison officers, SBS made excellent progress, forging well ahead of the original schedule. To all phase 1 properties, it fitted Wetherby WBS-DA2 polymer finish over 60mm Kingspan Phenolic K5 External Wall-Board.  Strict quality controls ensured that standards were met consistently, despite the fast pace of completions, and a keen focus on costs delivered appreciable savings throughout the duration of the scheme.

Throughout the works, SBS worked in close partnership with E.ON and secured funding for carbon savings that it was able to return to the client, thereby affording the opportunity for an extension to the scheme.



SBS maintained its speed and quality of work, such that all 558 of the initially selected properties were completed five months ahead of schedule. Chesterfield BC then directly commissioned SBS to undertake a further three phases under the same framework.

The second phase entailed work on around 170 houses, including 94 REEMA properties. In addition to the EWI installation, works also entailed the replacement of windows, soffits and fascias. Concrete repairs were made to all properties before the EWI works. The insulation system was designed by PermaRock Products and comprised a Silicone Ultra-K finish and brick slip over 60mm phenolic insulation boards.

Phase 3 entailed works on around 80 more solid wall properties of varying designs.  These include 56 terraced houses and 24 steel-framed bungalows, all of which underwent full structural inspections. The scheme again called for new external wall insulation - in this case a 90mm system manufactured by PermaRock Products. The insulation was covered with a Silicone Ultra-K finish and brick slip.

The fourth phase began at the start of 2017 and involved the treatment of 430 properties in two work streams. The properties comprised a mix of 'hard to treat' designs including part cavity and solid wall.

During all works, SBS maintained an exemplary H&S record and delivered the various phases on time and on budget.

On the strength of SBS's performance, and the effective collaboration between client, contractor and stakeholders, the scheme was subsequently named as a finalist in the 2018 Building Communities Awards, which are run each year by Efficiency East Midlands. Having won two awards at the 2017 event, SBS maintained its winning record by taking the title of 2018 Project of the Year.

Judges noted that SBS had scored 100% for predictability of time by property, for predictability of spend against budget, and for the proportion of properties accepted at handover. Work had involved over 200 operatives and stakeholders, and all phases had been delivered with zero reportable H&S incidents. As a result, SBS had also received excellent feedback from the client.


Client testimonial:

"The EWI programme that SBS has been undertaking has run with minimal problems, and both completion dates and costs have been on target. SBS are always open to discuss issues and often highlight areas where it believes there could be future problems. I have found the team to be professional, efficient  and always ready to go the extra mile."

Richard Furniss

Business Planning & Strategy team, Chesterfield Borough Council


KPI results:

  • 100% handover success
  • Zero defects
  • Zero H&S incidents
  • Customer satisfaction score: 'excellent'





Sustainable Building Services (UK) Limited


PermaRock EPS-Premium & Phenolic External Wall Insulation Systems with K 1.5mm, Dry Dash and/or Brick Slip Finishes


External Wall Insulation