Solihull Community Housing

HBC were successfully awarded 1 st place on this OJEU compliant framework (3+1+1). Year one comprised of EWI (Wetherby EPS system with silicon finish) and associated works to 246 (Wimpey No-Fines) properties on Kingshurst Estate valued at £1.214 million (bungalows, low rise flats, 2/3 story townhouses). HBC were responsible for full design specification, delivery and end to end management of ECO funding worth £174k.

Key issues and how we overcame them:

Revising specification:

We encountered issues with curing of the build-up coats (scrim and levelling) due to inclement weather. Properties in the pilot scheme had taken 3 weeks to complete but were taking 6-8 weeks due to curing issues in inclement autumn weather. Through our QA procedures we proactively identified the issue, ceased programme and worked with the system supplier to select an alternative product more suitable to inclement weather conditions that was visually the same as the properties already completed.

Programme delays:

Owing to specification issues, programme was delayed and we were able to accelerate delivery (from 10/week to 20/week) completing 2 weeks ahead of schedule by Christmas break, absorbing additional costs without additional cost to client.


Given nature of the estate (pedestrianised walkways and alleys) we had access issues for workforce/issues moving equipment and materials while maintaining safe pedestrian access. We put access statements in place and utilised areas of soft landscaping as alternative access routes/footpaths by using boarding and low level scaffolding to maintain pedestrian walkways.

Inclement weather:

Prolonged high winds caused damage to roof tiles and fencing across the estate. We undertook a ‘bolt-on’ programme of fence replacement, replacing fences within a week of the storms and saving the client the cost/time of having to source a supplier for works themselves, also offering savings for overheads/prelims as fencing works were absorbed into main programme. We also sourced and replaced roof tiles for private residents at discounted rates

Key successes include:

Local labour:

From a standing start we achieved 75% local labour within the first 3 months of the contract.


RLO (employed locally with experience of working on the estate) and client RLO worked as a team developing robust consultation and communication plans, holding regular coffee mornings and organising weekly litter picks. Customer satisfaction is at 99% ‘good’ and above.

Additional works:

SCH asked us to complete an additional 9 bungalows adjacent to site that were an unknown non-traditional construction as a bolt on to the contract.

Proactive programming:

We erected scaffolding during Christmas holidays, notifying residents and employing site manager over the holidays to accelerate the programme in new year.

Value for money:

We are currently negotiating next years’ works, submitting multiple proposals considering additional funding streams to achieve value for money – i.e. completing 3 years works in 12 months to access current funding levels given uncertainty of ECO funding going forward. We are also picking up private works, absorbing private works into main programme to provide owner occupiers with costs equivalent to tendered rates.