Old Church, Romford
New Swan Homes (NSH) has sought a regeneration project to rescue the former Old Church Hospital site in Romford, Essex. The project sought to revive and modernise the town centre as well as providing low carbon and energy efficient homes through the use of Wetherby’s Epsitec system.
NSH’s development comes after a decade of regeneration work in Romford town centre. The Old Church site was originally a workhouse for the union and was built in 1838; in 1930 the poor law union was abolished and it became the Old Church County Hospital. This was later closed in 2006 and services were transferred to the new Queens Hospital. Since the 2006 closure, the building has been derelict and was seen as a great opportunity to provide much-needed high-quality housing for the local community.
E.ON and Taylor Wimpey envisaged houses and apartments on the site with a firm focus on sustainability. E.ON's Sustainable Energy business became the Energy Service Company (ESCo) for the project. This provided the development with the ability to produce, supply and manage the local delivery of community energy to the whole site.
The site comprises of 378 units using a steel framed construction method. Wetherby’s Epsitec system has been specifically designed for this type of construction, therefore, making it the perfect choice for the project. Approved Wetherby installers, DCP Facades carried out the work incorporating a drainage cavity. This was placed behind the rigid 140mm thick EPS insulation board allowing the cement particle board and steel frame to remain dry and structurally sound. The system was then completed with the application of a white Silicone ‘K’ 1.5mm render textured finish.
Transforming the neglected brownfield land has made vital contributions towards the prosperity of the town. The fresh, contemporary design of the buildings has not only breathed new life into the area but residents will also benefit from low carbon emissions and thermally efficient homes. The project set to achieve a u-value of 0.35w/m²K; however after completion the u-value reading had actually achieved 0.18w/m²K meaning energy bills will be kept to a minimum.
Jeremy Bungey, Head of Community Energy at E.ON, said: “For developments such as this, community energy is a cost-effective route to keeping energy affordable for customers and reducing our impact on the planet – we call that being energy fit. The homes we live in are responsible for more than a quarter of the UK’s carbon emissions and sustainable developments like this not only help reduce those emissions but also give customers the benefit of a reliable and locally produced energy source.”