Amey and DIO Defence teams replace roofs on Service family homes in Wattisham - despite the discovery of roosting bats and the challenges of COVID-19 restrictions

26 May 2021
Image of a house surrounded by scaffolding.

Service families at Wattisham weren’t the only ones to have their homes upgraded recently when a project to replace the roofs of ten properties uncovered a roost of bats who had taken up residence in the eaves of number of homes identified for refurbishment.

With the possibility of a potential delay to the programme, teams from Amey and our client, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), worked quickly and collaboratively to assess the initial bat surveys to the affected properties and sought guidance from ecologists. As a result, additional works around counter battening and the use of alternative roofing felt was agreed and remediation work was supervised closely by an ecologist, who also recommended that bat licences were applied for and a bat box was installed in one of the trees in an occupant’s garden.

Work started soon after and with COVID-19 restrictions still in place, increased collaboration was needed to ensure our supply chain partners, Wigston Roofing, and the project team fully understood the social distancing requirements and were able to raise any issues if needed.

Covid-19 also saw an increase in initial concerns raised by some families so prior to the work, clear channels of communication were established to answer any questions relating to temporary roof coverings and future lockdowns that may impact work - all were managed effectively by Wigston Roofing, Amey and DIO as a team effort and the Unit were kept fully informed.

Tom Silvey, Amey’s Operations Director NHP said “Well done to the whole team on the great project delivery at Wattisham. So often great work goes unnoticed, particularly during these recent and unprecedented times. To continue to deliver projects while overcoming the COVID-19 challenges is testament to the close, collaborative relationship that exists between all parties, along with a desire to improve the lived experience of the UK’s Service families.

Lisa Bambridge, DIO’s Housing Estate Officer added “The end result and management of this project has been very successful. The site has been well managed during work and feedback from families has been positive. The new roofs will aim to provide more thermal comfort due to increased insulation for both existing and future families”.