John McCall revamps gateway blocks

John McCall Architects has received planning permission on behalf of Golden Gates Housing Trust to retrofit green energy systems to five housing blocks in Warrington.

The designs will see various sustainable measures installed to the blocks on Alder Lane in a project named Alder Green.

Each building will see external wall insulation, photovoltaic panels, new heating and ventilation systems and air tightness measures installed to help reduce fuel poverty among tenants and protect the environment.

Solar photovoltaic panels will generate enough electricity to potentially save tenants between £100 and £150-a-year while a voltage optimisation device will reduce the voltage supplied to homes, providing a further £50 annual saving.

The five blocks have been designed to reinvigorate the street scene with each given its own visual identity.

Existing roof items will be replaced with concrete tiles, grey fascias and white soffits, with mill finished aluminium gutters and down pipes.

A rendered external wall insulation system with horizontal cladding boards and brick effect render will be incorporated to give façades variation and character and will be replicated to other selected areas of the elevations.

To inject colour and depth to the flats, protruding picture frames and Juliet balconies will be added in various but complementary colours.

The gable end facing Alder Lane will have two new windows with a recessed surround built to create a focal point, while grey window frames will increase the modern feel.

James Nicholls, project architect and urbanist at John McCall Architects, said: "As specialists in eco-refurbishment designs, we have been able to include a range of sustainable measures that will dramatically improve the aesthetic appearance of the blocks while remaining practical so tenants' fuel bills are reduced.

"The work will also play a significant role in improving the character of the area and revitalise a busy gateway leading into Warrington town centre."

The scheme is being delivered by contractor Willmott Dixon and is scheduled to be completed by December.

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