When Fife Council consulted its residents at Broomhead flats in Dunfermline about the future of their homes, the options were pretty clear cut. The three 50-year old blocks of flats had reached the point where they either needed significant investment to bring them up to the current Scottish Housing Quality Standard, or needed to be demolished and replaced with new build properties.
The result of the residents’ consultation favoured refurbishment and, in May 2014, Fife Council’s Housing and Communities Committee gave the go-ahead for this project to begin. A key requirement was to deliver refurbished homes which offer a higher level of protection against fuel poverty.
The multimillion pound project has transformed 216 properties, housed within the three 12-storey blocks. The building fabric has been brought up to a higher thermal standard, utilising product technology which was simply not available in the 1960s. And that primarily involved the £5.1m contract with CMS Window Systems for the replacement of windows, doors and curtain walling, application of external wall insulation (EWI) and replacing balconies.
CMS was appointed as the main envelope contractor after winning the competitive cost and quality based tender. For Fife Council, this helped simplify the procurement process and supply chain from the outset. CMS was able to help develop a specification for the windows, and their appointment ensured consistent quality, trouble free interface integration and clear communication channels – all proving important to the success of this extensive refurbishment project.
Every flat benefits from A-rated, highly insulating windows which are manufactured with Sheerframe lead-free PVCu profiles and feature thermally superior low-e softcoat double glazed sealed units. With a low U-value, the energy rating (WER) of these fully UK-made windows represents a huge improvement in thermal performance.
CMS also manufactured and installed aluminium curtain walling which spans up to eleven floors on each block, enclosing all communal walkways – equating to more than 2,000m2 of curtain walling. This replaced existing steel balustrades and steel screens in communal areas to raise the quality and visual appeal, internally and externally.
A third component to the structural elements was the replacement of balcony enclosures. CMS installed more than 1,700m2 of enclosures created using Windoor System 1000 featuring ‘Light’ glazing systems. Their design gives tenants the freedom to use their balconies all year round.
Completing the transformation of the building fabric, CMS also over-clad the external walls with a mix of insulated render and render only, as required, using mast climbers for safe access and to ensure speedy delivery with minimum disruption. With total wall coverage of more than 11,000m2, this extensive over-cladding work has improved the insulation level of all walls to complement the performance of the windows, doors and curtain walling.
John Rodigan, Senior Manager of Building Services at Fife Council said: “The Housing and Neighbourhood Service of the Council demonstrated great foresight in their decision to invest in the energy efficient measures at Broomhead.
“It’s also no coincidence that one of our most environmentally committed companies won the contract, it’s been the perfect partnership with all stakeholders sharing the same objectives. The result for the Broomhead tenants will be significant in terms of reduced energy costs and increased comfort. These works have made a substantial contribution to Fife’s green agenda as well as supporting local employment and trade apprenticeships – the delivery of this project has been a real triumph for the Council.”