Kensington and Chelsea's first carbon-neutral housing block gets green light as contractor appointed

Published: Thursday 17 March 2022

Kensington and Chelsea Council has announced Treadgold House on Lancaster West Estate will be the first council-owned housing block to go carbon-neutral, following the appointment of a building contractor by the Council’s Leadership Team.

United Living South Limited has been awarded the contract of £6.85m to design and build a whole house deep retrofit refurbishment for Treadgold House, following a competitive tendering exercise.

Improvements that will be delivered to the block of 38 homes include triple glazed windows, solar PV panels, non-combustible wall, floor, and roof insulation, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, the removal of gas to be replaced with an Air Source Heat Pump, as well as comprehensive internal refurbishment.

As well as reducing the energy demand of the building, this work will mean residents benefit from substantially lower energy bills, reduced need for repairs and maintenance, better air quality, reduced noise from outside, and more comfortable homes.

Work to decarbonise all of the Council’s housing stock is expected to take place by 2030 and cost an estimated £100m.

Councillor Kim Taylor-Smith, Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Grenfell, Housing, and Social Investment said:

“This energy efficient retrofit at Treadgold House is a great example of the action we are taking to achieve our ambition of our social housing stock being carbon-neutral by 2030.

“It’s incredibly important to listen to the views of the residents on Lancaster West and ensure we are providing the improvements to their homes that they want to see. We hope the work at Treadgold House will provide residents with warmer, safer and more comfortable homes, future-proofed for generations to come.”

Extensive engagement and co-design has taken place with the residents of Treadgold House on the project since early 2018. A resident vote established the top ten improvements they would like to see for their homes and communal areas, and residents were also consulted on whether the Council should be a part of the Mustbe0 project and apply for grant funding to match fund its own investment.

In November 2020, 87 per cent of households voted on whether they supported being a part of the Mustbe0 project,
funded by the Interreg NWE Programme through the European Regional Development Fund, and 96 per cent voted to support this approach. Working with EnergieSprong UK, the Council applied for funding from the project and were successful in obtaining £1.5m.

James Caspell, Director of the Lancaster West Neighbourhood Team, said:

“Treadgold House residents voted overwhelmingly in favour of making their homes and block carbon-neutral and we will continue to put resident engagement at the heart of this refurbishment. Consulting with residents at crucial stages on this project allows us to understand what residents want and need from the homes they live in. We’re hoping that once the work is complete, this block will set the standard for other housing estates across not just Kensington and Chelsea, but the whole of the UK.”

Last night’s decision was part of a Leadership Team meeting which also approved three environmental action plans to improve air quality, increase biodiversity and tackle climate change. All will support ambitions in the Council’s Green Plan.