The Courts, Nottingham

Client Nottingham City Homes
Specifier Nottingham City Homes
Substrate Concrete Cross Wall Construction with Brick outer skin on the gable walls.
System PermaRock Mineral Fibre External Wall Insulation Systems
System 2
Finish PermaRock Silicone Ultra K & R Finishes
Finish 2 PermaRock Brick Slips
Project Overview:



In an effort to pursue its Net Zero environmental strategy for 2050, Nottingham City Homes looked to explore different ways in which it could enhance the energy efficiency of its existing housing stock. As a pilot scheme, it identified a residential development in Nottingham known as The Courts.

The development was chosen because, first, it was set in an area in which residents were experiencing a high degree of fuel poverty and, second, because the four residential blocks were not thermally efficient. Built either with solid walls or narrow cavities, they required an external wall insulation system in order to reduce heat loss to a more acceptable level.


The Brief:

The client required a system that would substantially improve the U-values in the four 5-storey blocks. The chosen system would also need to be designed to eliminate cold-bridging risks and its appearance would have to meet certain criteria set out by local authority planners. Since this was a pilot scheme, contractors were also required to fit smart energy monitors so that any resulting changes in energy consumption could be recorded.


The Design Stage:

At an early stage, PermaRock worked with the contractor and other stakeholders to survey the four blocks and to produce detailed plans for the various features and elevations. These plans, backed by clear visualisations and product samples, helped to secure planning consent.


Specification and System:

The system chosen for the scheme consisted principally of PermaRock Mineral Fibre EWI system, together with PermaRock Silicone Ultra K & R Finishes. On gable walls and elsewhere, to ensure the preservation of the buildings’ original appearance, the same mineral wool insulation was covered with PermaRock Brick Slips.

Each of these product combinations has been independently tested and shown to meet the most demanding fire safety standards. The resulting systems achieve an A2-s1,d0 Reaction to Fire classification and are suitable for use on buildings of any building height, including those with a storey height above 11 metres.

PermaRock is a system founder-member of the Solid Wall Insulation Guarantee Association (SWIGA), which approves the Mineral Fibre EWI system for use on high-rise buildings.



Ultimately, the scheme met its objectives. The installation of external wall insulation delivered important improvements in terms of heat retention, but it was just one element of a wider demonstration scheme. Other technologies applied at The Courts included a low-temperature, district heating system, heat exchangers, PV arrays and one of the country’s largest battery-based power storage facilities.

The thermal and aesthetic improvements to the properties were impressive but the scheme also produced valuable energy data for researchers at Nottingham Trent University.

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