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Lovell is one of a number of partners involved in delivering improvements for the Sandwell Homes’ £80 million modernisation programme for 44 high-rise blocks in the area.
Refurbishment works are set to cover the requirements of the Governments’ Decent Homes standards and to enhance the life expectancy of the building to 30 years whilst improving the standards for the current residents.
Work has now stared on Kenrick House – the last of three blocks on the Kenrick Park Estate, which is home to nearly 400 tenants.
Previously, the Sandwell high-rise blocks were the target of antisocial behaviour. By regenerating the buildings, ensuring that they meet the government standard for Decent Homes, Lovell has helped make a difference to the residents’ everyday lives. Crime rates have dropped considerably around the buildings where members of the community are encouraged to take pride in where they live.
Before Lovell started work on Kenrick House, a community fun day was held. This gave an opportunity for all local residents to come together and show a real sense of community. There were representatives from Lovell present so that residents could ask questions about the redevelopment of the site. Kenrick Park has been commended by the National House-Building Council in its ‘multi storey’ category, in recognition of excellence in health and safety practice, and evidence of commitment and innovation.
The refurbishment of Kenrick House uses a range of new initiatives to ensure that the environmental impact of the refurbishment process is minimised. First, having discovered each skip that leaves its sites contains on average 40% of void space (fresh air), Lovell Midlands has purchased a baler machine to help compact waste. Within a week of installing the baler, over 12 bales of packaging material had been created – a smaller volume of waste than would otherwise have been produced. This has not only resulted in fewer skips leaving the site but also the skip size has been reduced from 35 yard to 20 yard for the remaining waste. The innovative baler solution came following a review by Lovell Midlands of its waste management procedures and waste streams. The baler is just one of various options identified that could improve recycling performance, reduce waste disposal costs and decrease its carbon footprint.
Second, eco-hoardings have been used. Traditionally, hoardings placed around construction sites are made from wood or plywood which weathers quickly, tends to disintegrate when dismantled and generally ends up as landfill waste. Wooden hoardings also require painting and repainting on a regular basis during the life of the building project. The Kenrick House site uses Eco Sheet, made in the UK from recycled PVC, as a sustainable alternative. The boards are easy to handle, solid and secure, long lasting, reusable and recyclable. At the end of the board’s life the boards are returned to the factory and reprocessed thus reducing the waste disposal to landfill.
Third, Eco Cabins were installed on-site. These cabins are made from 95% recyclable materials and timber from managed forests, and use highly-insulated materials and high-efficiency electrical appliances to reduce energy use. They have been shown to reduce the carbon footprint of a site by 50%. They also contain waterless urinals, water savings cisterns and non-concussive taps, so reduce water use by up to 65%.
As well as minimising the environmental impact of construction, all three environmental initiatives – the baler, eco-hoarding and Eco Cabins – also save Lovell money. By segregating and compacting waste, Lovell has reduced disposal costs simply by getting more waste into each skip. The reduction in costs has been so dramatic that the baler is expected to pay for itself within just two months. Lovell has also arranged a free collection service to collect the bales and recycle the waste.
The cost of eco-hoardings is similar to traditional plywood, but there is no extra cost to dispose of the boards at the end of its life. Instead, they are returned to the manufacturer for recycling. The potential energy savings of the Eco Cabins provide an estimated weekly saving of £11.82 per cabin. Moreover, the use of Eco Cabins over normal cabins is a very visible and public demonstration of Lovell’s environmental commitment, which helps support the corporate environmental policies of our clients.
"I do think that these improvements have changed our lives in many ways. Well done Lovell. Many thanks for your co-operation."Local resident