Pioneering Watts project nominated for industry award


A ground-breaking sustainable housing scheme overseen by property and construction consultants Watts Group PLC has been nominated for a top industry award.

The Bowker Street refurbishment project in Salford has been shortlisted in the Sustainable Project of the Year category at the Builder and Engineer Awards 2012.

Watts provided contract administration services for the development, owned and managed by social housing provider Contour Homes, which saw six derelict Victorian terrace houses reinstated to the highest standard of sustainability.

The cutting edge scheme is the first in the UK to be registered under the BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment Standard, an energy performance benchmark launched by the British Research Establishment (BRE) in June.

Watts worked closely with the BRE to develop a design and specification to enable the project to attain the ‘outstanding’ category of the new standard which will:

  •     Lower energy use and reduce carbon, water and waste.
  •     Protect homes from fire, flooding and criminal damage as appropriate.
  •     Improve the health of the occupants.
  •     Provide an EPC rating of "A".

Contour Homes predicts that these measures will save each tenant up to £1,400 per year in power and heating costs.

Tenants moved into the properties following project completion in July and since then they have attracted a number of high profile visitors, including Pat Ritchie, Chief Executive of the Homes and Communities Agency, who received a tour of the development in August.

Phil Chorley, an associate in Watts’ Manchester office, said: “Getting a hard-to-treat Victorian terraced house to an EPC rating of ‘A’ has been a challenge to say the least. However, we are immensely proud of what we and our development partners have achieved and we now have the knowledge to repeat this on future projects.”

The Builder and Engineer Awards 2012 celebrate the stand-out achievements of the property and construction industry over the past 12 months. They are due to take place at Lancashire County Cricket Club on 31 October.

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