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SoundScapeIssue 0223few of us can imagine the constant stress and discomfort from noise disturbance caused by living, literally, next to a busy trunk road leading to a major motorway. But that is exactly what the residents of the Edward Woods estate in West London have had to endure. until now. In a ground breaking scheme, three 1960s tower blocks have been clad with high grade insulation that not only improves energy effi ciency but reduces traffi c noise too. Paula Bateman, corporate affairs director at Rockwool, takes SoundScape through the projectSound regeneration

SoundScapeIssue 0224If you were asked to pick a building that demonstrated strong acoustic insulation and protected its residents from noise, a 24-storey, 1960s tower block next to a busy trunk road in West London may not be the answer that would spring to mind.However, in Shepherd's Bush, next to the gleaming new shopping paradise of Westfield, the three 1960s tower blocks which make up the Edward Woods estate are undergoing a transformation. This large scale residential tower block regeneration is perhaps the most comprehensive energy efficiency refurbishment of its type in the UK. The accrued benefits for residents in terms of noise protection, energy efficiency and fire safety are being hailed as a blueprint for local authorities across the UK.While the Edward Woods transformation is rightly motivated by a desire to cut the estate's carbon emissions and lower residents' fuel bills, the tower blocks' location next to the noisy A3320 means that the acoustic benefits of the refurbishment are just as critical.Government driven funding streams, such as the Community Energy Saving Program (CESP) - an obligation on energy suppliers to improve energy efficiency standards and reduce fuel bills in areas of low income - means there is funding available for local authorities to enhance the energy efficiency of social housing. The benefit of selecting a thermal insulation material that also provides strong acoustic properties and increased fire safety allows councils to effectively address multiple problems in one, and gain external funding to do so.The Edward Woods Estate refurbishment has been managed by Hammersmith & Fulham Council (H&F) with funding provided by British Gas. The refurbishment was designed by ECD Architects, with the firm focusing on finding an environmentally sustainable, acoustically sound and aesthetically beneficial solution to the council's energy inefficient 1960s estate.The 70 metre high concrete tower blocks were built in 1968, each containing 176 flats with no insulation, and their exposed position has meant that over the past 40 years the building structure has deteriorated, with significant cracks and gaps in the masonry further increasing levels of noise and energy inefficiency within the buildings.Building owner H&F have been keen to address this and to make the tower blocks a warmer, quieter, better environment for the residents. By choosing a comprehensive insulation partner, 'greening the buildings' with Rockwool has meant that H&F has also benefited from vastly improved acoustic insulation. To achieve the final result, Rockwool and construction specialist the Breyer Group, were recruited to join the partnership and implement the changes.The refurbishment is expected to be completed in 2012 and will see the Edward Woods estate transformed into contemporary looking buildings, with the grey concrete exterior wrapped in high grade external wall insulation and new penthouse apartments at the top of the buildings.To reduce costs, the renovations have been taking place while residents remain in their homes. To suitably protect them against the construction noise, Rockwool supplied 10,000 m2 of Rockshield External Wall Insulation which has been used to clad the north and south elevations of the tower blocks. Moreover, the external wall insulation has been integrated with 318 photovoltaic solar panels, generating 82,000 This large scale residential tower block regeneration is perhaps the most comprehensive energy efficiency refurbishment of its type in the UK. The accrued benefits for residents in terms of noise protection and energy efficiency are being hailed as a blueprint for local authorities across the UK