From the e4 Brick House, a complete housing solution, to their individual bricks, roof tiles, blocks and pavers, Wienerberger provide material solutions that help local authorities and housing associations to create high quality homes that are affordable - to build, to buy and to live in.
Wienerberger’s new Social Housing Team was created to promote their provision of the full building envelope as well as technical and design support, and HA Magazine caught up with Wienerberger’s National Sales Manager - Social Housing, John Harris, to tell us how all it came together.
HA: I understand Wienerberger have established a national team to focus on Social Housing - who is in this team and how do they operate?
John: Wienerberger have established a cross product team working in the social housing market, both new build and refurbishment.
Wienerberger’s range of more than 1000 products includes the Terca and Porotherm brands as part of its wall category, Sandtoft, Koranic and Keymer as part of its roof category, and Penter in the paving category.
The driver behind this initiative is the belief that Wienerberger have a portfolio of products that allow us to provide the full building envelope, and which offer the best value over the lifetime of a building, coupled with a commitment to assist in building sustainable communities improving the quality of life for both RSLs/HAs and their tenants/customers.
The team initially will consist of three - myself, John Christopher (Business Development Manager Social Housing north and midlands), and Mark Mayatt (Business Development Manager Social Housing London and south). We all have vast experience selling into the social housing market for roofing but will be promoting all brands/products moving forward - the whole building envelope.
We are looking for opportunities to discuss the benefits we can bring to social housing projects where clients wish to work with us to deliver a better product and lifestyle to their tenants/customers.
The benefits we can offer include guaranteed systems, vastly improved speed of build, sustainability in a practical way, the best value from design to completion - and the full external envelope from a single source.
HA: Is this centrally based or are there depots around the country?
John: Myself and John Christopher are based in the north but very flexible and mobile, Mark Mayatt is based in London. We are available nationally.
HA: What would be a typical project for Wienerberger - if there is one?
John: We have been involved for many years delivering large, complicated re-roof schemes to social housing and have many success stories.
We are currently working with various HAs with a view to providing a pre-designed full house concept (e4) promoting long term value and sustainability. Our experience in running social re-roof projects leaves us with a clear understanding of the needs of social housing providers.
HA: Tell me about the Design Team’s input, how can they help a Housing Association with specification and home improvements?
John: Our Design Services Team helps with product specific services/designs/support for RSLs, for everything from single product to a full building envelope.
Additionally, our Built Environment Team have spent many long hours creating a pre-designed house model which delivers a future-proof product for social housing providers. Designed in BIM and using a range of sustainable, guaranteed products, the product delivers value as well as offering improvements to the tenants’ lifestyles, including more space/light, flexible room design, and a reduction in the potential for fuel poverty (long term low energy usage due to products used and design).
HA: What are the main products/services you can offer to housing organisations? What technical back-up/guarantees/warranties do you offer?
John: All systems come with guaranteed performance, roof systems continue to come with a 10 or 15 year design liability guarantee. In terms of the e4 house package, various guarantees are available depending on final design.
HA: What do you think is the main advantage of your dedicated social housing team to the Housing Associations?
John: We have developed an understanding of the priorities of Social Housing providers, which put us in a position to quickly develop mutually beneficial relationships.
Wienerberger’s products and services offer long-term performance which is a big benefit for RSLs who have long-term interests in their housing stock.
All of our products achieve an A+ or A rating in the BRE Green Guide and all of our UK-manufactured products are BES 6001 certified. We’ve invested over £6m on improvements in UK production efficiency and energy performance.
In response to the 2016 deadline for BIM Level 2 compliance for Public Sector projects, we’ve ensured that our BIM and 3D CAD offering remains at the forefront of the industry.
Our BIM Technical Hub offers free access to BIM Lab objects built in Autodesk Revit for our full range of wall, roof and landscaping solutions - and we can help to run a complete level 2 project using our Common Data Environment, with support from our fully qualified BIM advisors.
HA: And in what ways would the tenants benefit from your system?
John: The full e4 system offers the tenant many benefits. The product is designed to offer more floor space, significantly improved natural light, vast reduction in fuel bills (wall construction using clay block has hugely improved thermal properties) and flexible living space, all designed and built in BIM leaving future maintenance efficiencies.
The Wienerberger e4 brick house has estimated annual energy cost of less than £230, as well as an FEE rate of 46kWh/m2 per year. Energy efficiency is paramount to the e4 concept. Not only has the material framework been designed with a fabric-first approach, but we’ve also incorporated a hybrid heat pump and optional solar panels, making it easy for our customers to reap the rewards of renewable energy.
The property is proven to deliver a 60% improvement on the 2013 Dwelling Emission Rate (DER) and the Target Emission Rate (TER) calculations for CO2. It also offers a Fabric Energy Efficiency (FEE) of 46kWh/m2 per year.
Crucially, the estimated average annual energy cost for an e4 brick house is £229.64 - less than £20 per month. This adds value to the property by providing a cost-effective proposition for builders, buyers, operators and tenants.
HA: I understand it’s not just individual tenants, but whole communities that have experienced improvements following your input - tell me more about this.
John: Projects we have been involved with and experiences witnessed has shown that investment in buildings, and in the environment around buildings, leads to increased pride in the local environment from tenants. Social Housing tenants are as keen to live in a pleasant environment as anyone else, in fact often more important… we still have some real communities out there! This improvement in the local environment is valuable, but the removal of families from fuel poverty is another huge contributor to improving the lives of individuals within communities as well as the communities themselves.
The Wienerberger e4 House
The aim of Wienerberger’s e4 brick house is to create an archetype for the future of UK housing.
Developed alongside global engineering and design consultancy ARUP, it is a home designed to meet the needs of modern living. A fully realised, adaptable and award-winning housing solution, it is a sound long-term investment with low maintenance requirements.
It has been designed according to four founding principles - economy, energy, environment and emotion - and thus named e4. Each principle has been embedded in the e4 brick house at every stage; from the architectural designs right through to the construction materials and methods:
Economy: A house offering optimum build performance, while meeting market needs in an affordable, accessible way.
Energy: A house that focuses on the efficient use of energy, meeting the latest energy performance standards.
Environment: A house that minimises its environmental impact by using responsibly sourced, resource efficient materials and promoting low-impact living.
Emotion: A house that people will want to live in. A house that not only provides flexibility and practicality, but also delivers a better quality of life.
Innovation and sustainability are two of Wienerberger’s core values. Both are at the heart of our commitment to create material solutions that help deliver a better quality of life.
The e4 brick house is one such solution. It is our response to the UK housing crisis and the pressing need to build houses that are not only sustainable and affordable, but efficient and beautiful too.
So the e4 house is more that just an answer to the UK housing shortage, it is a way for the UK to build future-proofed houses that people will aspire to make into long-term homes.