In the early 1970s there were many older properties that did not have inside bathrooms so to overcome this, a solution was developed whereby a ‘boxed’ bathroom was craned over the house and attached to the back of the house.
These pods incorporated a separate W/C and bathroom into the existing layout. They consisted of a wooden frame structure of light weight construction with minimal insulation to walls and roofs (30 mm rockwool insulation).
Since the initial installation over 40 years ago, deterioration of the existing structures and the lack of a thermal barrier led to an increased number of issues regarding mould, damp, poor ventilation, heat loss and high heating costs. Over time the social housing repairs and maintenance teams at the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham were receiving an increase in the numbers of repairs raised for mould treatment, roof works, decoration issues etc. This had a significant impact on the time, resources and money spent on repairs and maintenance without tackling the serious issue of inadequate thermal insulation. A new approach was needed to deal with these structures in a holistic way and consequently, the BD Services team, working with My Place, Barking and Dagenham Council’s landlord managing agent, developed a specification for full refurbishment.
The teams worked closely to develop a bespoke design and specification that met the needs of the residents, while also ensuring that the specification complied with all current building regulation and thermal efficiency criteria (U Values).
The agreed specification and materials used create a stronger, more robust structure with a significantly increased lifespan. The insulation and external finish materials used are among the highest standards used on the current markets and offer durability along with the benefit of a 40 year warranty supplied by the external tiles manufacturer. In addition, the roof system is changed to a more efficient model, and includes a warm deck roof to add to the thermal efficiency and reduce maintenance for the future.
The timescale to complete the works per property is currently 5 days from start to finish and most of the works are carried out externally with minimal contact, disturbance or disruption to residents. The overall quality of finishes and the appearance improves the external aesthetics of the house considerably.
The feedback received to date from residents have been very positive and every resident noticed the difference after completion. The addition of a thermal barrier keeps the heat inside the property during cold weather conditions and stops excessive heat coming inside the property during hot summer days.
Since commencing the project in August 2018 we have insulated 324 box bathrooms to the delight of the residents whilst improving energy efficiency, decreasing the Council’s carbon footprint and reducing maintenance costs.