Roger Wolens, Wayne Harris and Andy DerryHomes and Communities company livin and its repairs and maintenance partner Mears have scooped a top prize in the international UK Green Apple Awards for Environmental Best Practice 2014.

At the awards ceremony recently held at the Houses of Parliament, the partnership was presented with a Gold award in recognition of an energy efficient insulation project on livin properties in Spennymoor, County Durham.

The two part project included installing external wall insulation on 50 homes in Tudhoe Moor, Spennymoor to protect the steel reinforced concrete structure from future concrete deterioration, improve the exterior appearance whilst significantly reducing heating bills for residents.

In addition, 26 sandstone and solid brick built homes in Front Street, Tudhoe had internal wall insulation installed to reduce the high heating costs resulting from the solid wall construction, whilst maintaining their attractive stone appearance externally.

The area has historically experienced high levels of fuel poverty, so livin felt it was vital to ensure that residents’ homes were well insulated before the winter weather arrived in order to protect the welfare of tenants. As a result of the work, tenants have seen a substantial improvement in the energy efficiency of their homes giving them a reduction in their fuel bills of approximately £400 per year per household.

It is estimated that the innovative project design and collaborative delivery will provide savings of over 5,000 tonnes of CO2 over the lifetime of the wall insulation. – the equivalent of an ‘average’ car travelling 12.5 million miles.

Colin Kingshott, head of property services at livin said: “We are committed to providing our tenants with the highest standard of energy efficient homes possible. This project is part of a wider Greener Strategy and was successful in obtaining part funding of over £150,000 from ECO Funding, and the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund.

“The project has helped boost the cosmetic appearance of homes, dramatically reducing tenants’ heating bills and helping to reduce carbon emissions and fuel poverty. It is a win-win situation for everybody.”

Matt Lucas, Energy Director for Mears said: “We are proud that our partnership with livin has been recognised by the Green Apple Awards for Best Environmental Practice and absolutely delighted to receive the Gold Award. This is a testament to partnership working and dedication to all the staff involved in what has been a very challenging project.”