PermaRock Scheme Features on BBC East Midlands Today

A PermaRock solid wall insulation system is currently being installed as part of a pioneering energy efficiency scheme in Nottingham. Delivered on behalf of Nottingham City Homes (NCH) as part of their Greener HousiNG programme, the project has been part funded by the EU-funded ReMo Urban project. It involves a raft of measures including upgrading the insulation of four low-rise apartment blocks (‘The Courts’) and connecting them to a district heating system.

The scheme is delivering excellent results and, on Friday 17th August, a BBC news crew visited the site to document progress and talk to key stakeholders. Chief News Reporter, Quentin Rayner interviewed the NCH project manager, local residents and Councillor Sally Longford - Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Energy and Environment.

Describing the impacts of the scheme, a spokesperson for Nottingham City Council noted: "The apartments will be warmer than before, but they will also have lower bills, and all their energy needs will be fully met from low carbon sources.

"In a bid to future-proof the network, part of the works will be to pilot the concept of low temperature district heating. This could enable Nottingham to roll out this low carbon energy source to many more domestic properties in the future, at a much lower cost. The network operates by distributing hot water over an extensive pipe network; this pilot will enable the network for The Courts to operate at a much lower temperature without any drop in heating and hot water performance for the households."

The district heating and the use of solar PV and battery storage are innovative elements of the scheme, but it was recognised from the outset that these could not be wholly cost-effective without accompanying improvements to the buildings' insulation. PermaRock's Mineral Fibre External Wall Insulation System yields important improvements in energy efficiency while also improving the appearance of the apartments.

Nottingham City Homes Chief Executive, Nick Murphy, said: "The Greener HousiNG programme is dedicated to finding the most efficient and reliable solutions to help us future proof our housing stock and tackle issues such as fuel poverty. As an added bonus, the external improvements will greatly improve the look and feel of the area."

The City Council emphasised that the use of energy-from-waste, the district heating system and associated improvements will deliver important social and environmental benefits. The scheme is expected to:

  • divert 170,000 tonnes of rubbish that cannot be recycled from landfill
  • save 27,000 tonnes of CO2 compared to traditional heating schemes
  • reduce the city’s dependency on fossil fuels
  • provide affordable and low carbon heating for an area of the city with a high instance of fuel poverty

Filming took place on the morning of the 17th August. The news item itself appeared the same day, on the BBC's 6:30pm East Midlands Today show.