We help forty-two historic Welsh cottages go from a ‘Dee’ to an A+

Forty-two railway cottages in Flintshire, Wales, have been fitted out with solid wall insulation in a challenging project to make the cottages energy efficient, without damaging their historic design.

The project, a partnership between npower and WalesCo, saw npower fund energy saving improvements to significantly reduce the amount of energy used by the 1920s cottages.

Dee Cottages were originally built to house railway workers but are now home to elderly residents, who have been suffering from poor insulation and loud noise from the neighbouring train track for many years.

The installers started by fitting external wall insulation onto the outside of the cottages. Instead of using ordinary insulation that is used in cavity walls, for these properties they used a product called Rockwool, which is suitable for use on external walls and provides residents with the added benefit of reducing noise disturbance. They then worked to replicate the original external brick work on the front wall of the cottages, bringing them back to their former glory.

Richard Evans, WalesCo Project Manager, said: "The money from npower ensured that the cottages were properly insulated and that a small, local business was able to work on the project, when normally this would be impossible.

Another unusual feature of the project was the extent the team went to support the local residents. As we were working with elderly people, we needed to make sure access to the houses was kept completely clear. To keep disruption to an absolute minimum, we decided not to use any scaffolding during the installations and used cherry pickers instead."

David Titterton, Green Deal & Obligations Director at npower, said; "The UK has some of the oldest housing stock in Europe and many homes are hard to improve. This is a great example of a tricky energy efficiency project, where the improvements have been made without any damage to the overall design. If these historic cottages can be improved in this way, it shows that almost any house can have energy efficiency improvements."

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