Coventry Cross - London

More than 10,000m² of webertherm XM external wall insulation system and render changed the face of the Coventry Cross Estate

The Coventry Cross Estate, managed by Poplar HARCA (Housing and Regeneration Community Association) in the east end of London. The innovative EWI system by Saint-Gobain Weber, leading UK formulator and manufacturer of outstanding construction materials, was specified by renovation contractor Durkan as part of this extensive makeover.

This phase of regeneration at the Coventry Cross Estate, which is managed by Poplar HARCA (Housing and Regeneration Community Association) in the east end of London, commenced in 2011, comprising 160 flats across four blocks which are arranged around a central open space flanked by resident parking. It had a scheduled renovation budget of £5.5m and is part of Poplar HARCA's five-year programme to bring a quarter of its 8,500 housing stock up to modern homes standard working to a regeneration budget valued at £145m.

This Coventry Cross project initially included replacement of kitchens, bathrooms, fenestration and doors; repair and alterations to walkways, balconies and site amenities as well as a new facade to the buildings which would collectively bring them up to the government's Decent Homes Standards. It was Durkan, together with the London-based architect Baily Garner, who promoted the complete delivery of thermal insulation and render application that would totally transform the visual aesthetics of the properties for the benefit of the residents, local and visiting community while contributing to the greatly improved thermal performance of the dwellings. Baily Garner completed a full standard assessment procedure (SAP) to establish their energy performance.

Poplar HARCA was formed by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in 1996 and the first properties were transferred in 1998. In subsequent years the property portfolio grew to 8,500 homes when the Secretary of State authorised the transfer of Coventry Cross to become part of the estate in 2007.

The apartment blocks were constructed in the 1960s using cavity brickwork and precast walkway concrete sections. Limited insulation has meant high energy consumption in these dwellings which has become daunting to tenants as fuel costs continue to soar. The priority to substantially improve the thermal insulation of the properties determined that EWI was essential and the webertherm XM EWI system was specified. Saint-Gobain Weber surveyed the structures and a target U-value of 0.35W/M₂K was established.

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