The site at Glanrafon consists of 6 blocks of flats, built in the late 1960s, which were in need of modernising to bring them in line with requirements for comfort and energy-efficiency. After consultation with tenants, it was decided that the roofs and windows needed to be replaced throughout and external cladding added. Secure entry systems were installed, and the communal stairwells were closed-in. All the flats were tenanted during the build and our Tenant Liaison Officer was in constant contact, ensuring residents were informed and we were able to work round any issues of access to the site or the flats themselves, creating minimal disruption all round.
We installed pioneering new brick-slip cladding and insulation and replaced the windows which, along with the new roof, improved heat retention and updated the aesthetic. There were several external factors which had to be considered, including the discovery of bats nesting in the roof spaces. This meant obtaining a license from Natural Resource Wales and working with them to ensure improvements were carried out sensitively around the wildlife. A small river running through the site created an added challenge. We built a scaffolding bridge across, leaving the works unaffected.
The new cladding and render have not only modernised the look but significantly improved the energy efficiency of the buildings. Thermal performance is improved, and the overall aesthetic of the site has dramatically altered. We made improvements to walkways and entries around the site and instances of anti-social behaviour, which had previously been a problem in the area, have significantly reduced since the work was completed. Through Creating Enterprise, we were also able to offer employment to a Glanrafon resident, giving him his first step towards a career in construction.