Swisslab revitalises Glasgow building

As part of the regeneration of Glasgow’s Shawlands area, Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) recently embarked upon the recent refurbishment of 1265 Pollokshaws Road, a block of maisonette homes located above a mixture of shops and a car park.

PollokshawsRoad3The four-storey building, constructed of “bison” precast concrete panelling in the 1960s, comprises a 50/50 split between GHA and private ownership. The project received ECO funding and the private homeowners also received grant-aid funding from the city council due to the non-standard construction of the building.

To address both thermal performance, and aesthetic appearance, main contractor, City Building Glasgow, engaged the services of expert EWI installer, AC Whyte.

Alumasc’s Swisslab EWI system was specified for the project because it is perfectly suited to overcladding existing properties. AC Whyte installed the system with a 60mm phenolic insulation and finished it with Silkolitt silicone render in 3 subtle pastel shades.

The challenging installation could only be overcome with a large degree of technical expertise from both Alumasc and AC Whyte who worked closely together to ensure a successful solution.

PollokshawsRoad_BEFOREFirstly, the precast concrete panel exterior and its various substrates meant that AC Whyte and the Alumasc technical team had to carefully consider the fixing type to ensure a robust fix. Secondly, the existing façade featured a series of timber frame panels under the windows. Drawing upon Swisslab’s versatility, AC Whyte and Alumasc were able to employ careful detailing methods and the use of expansion joints. This led to these panels being “designed out” resulting in a simpler monolithic appearance which is much fresher and modern.

Finally, the car parking area below the flats, was also one of the main causes of poor thermal performance, and this was also given the Swisslab treatment with its soffits treated to insulate the exposed floors of the first floor flats above.

Giving his seal of approval to the scheme, Eric Conquer, Asset Planning Manager at GHA, said:

“The refurbishment work completed by Alumasc and AC Whyte at Pollokshaws Road has made an enormous difference. Our customers are really happy with the way the building looks, and their homes are now much warmer.”

For more details call Barrie Robertson on 07720 883 693.

For information on Swisslab External Wall Insulation, click here.

Stanton residents living in comfort thanks to Swistherm

Swistherm from Alumasc, has been installed on 25 park homes in Suffolk, in a bid to help tackle fuel poverty amongst the elderly residents.

parkhome1West Suffolk Council partnered with Alumasc’s Registered Installer Cornerstone Limited, to carry out the installation and improve the thermal efficiency of the homes at Shepherd’s Grove Park in Stanton, which were suffering from poorly insulated walls.

Cornerstone carried out all necessary adaptions and remedial works to prepare the properties for the insulation, given that these comprised a number of different park homes styles in various states of repair.

parkhome2Before the works began, initial pull-out tests were completed to determine the mechanical fixings and fixing patterns required. Alumasc’s Swistherm EWI system was then installed with premium grade EPS insulation and finished in Alumasc’s 1.5mm decorative silicone render, with the homeowners being given a choice of colours.

The new system has significantly improved the previously poorly insulated walls,  achieving a U-Value of 0.29 W/2mk, with the insulation also securing a 25 year insurance backed warranty. In addition, the decorative render coat has rejuvenated the properties, improving the overall aesthetics of the scheme.

parkhome3Cornerstone reports that homeowners are now benefitting from warmer and more thermally efficient properties, which has in turn significantly reduced their energy bills. The feedback from homeowners has been wholly positive, with numerous reports of greatly improved warmth and comfort.

For more information on Alumasc’s Swistherm system, click here

For more information on Alumasc’s silicone render, click here

Images and technical information courtesy of Cornerstone Limited

Alumasc revives Brandon House

A Bristol social housing scheme is benefitting from an extensive £5million refurbishment, which saw Swisslab and Swistherm from Alumasc as the chosen EWI systems.

brandon_completed 2Built in the 1960’s of concrete panel construction, Brandon House was experiencing problems with structural movement which had caused a catalogue of building defects. In addition, the scheme also suffered from poor insulation leading to condensation, mould and water ingress.

Bristol Council commissioned a programme of works, which included the installation of Alumasc’s Swisslab and Swistherm External Wall Insulation to around 90 flats within the block.

brandon_completedAlumasc’s Registered Installer Rateavon, installed the systems with 60mm phenolic and 110mm EPS insulation, to address the previous issues, improving thermal efficiency, reducing heating bills and extending the life of the building. The systems were specified partly due to the fact that the 60mm phenolic insulation would not encroach on the limited space down a number of narrow walkways – and in addition Rateavon have a long track record of working with Alumasc products, and their installation skill was required around a number of intricate concrete columns.

Brandon House prior to refurb
Brandon House prior to refurb

Swisslab is Alumasc’s market leading EWI system used for overcladding exisiting properties, whilst Swistherm eradicates cold bridging, condensation and mould growth. Both systems are BBA Approved, offering an effective life of over 30 years.

The systems were finished using Alumasc’s silicone render with matching clay and acrylic brick slips, in order to comply with planning requirements.

For more information on High Rise EWI, contact Lee Carter on 07801 253 798



Scotland to pilot £10m loan scheme

Scottish_thumbThe Scottish Government has made it possible for more people to make their homes warm and water-tight through a new £10 million fund.

The pilot scheme in Glasgow, Argyll and Bute and Perthshire will provide equity loans of up to £40,000 to home owners on low incomes to help them make essential repairs to leaking roofs and building structures – work which is often necessary before energy efficiency measures like EWI can be installed.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart announced the pilot, commenting:

“Making sure everyone has access to a warm and affordable home is a priority for this Government which is why we have committed half a billion pounds over the next four years, meaning over £1 billion by 2021, to tackling fuel poverty and improving energy efficiency.

“We know leaking roofs and poor building structures can drive up energy bills and make them more difficult to heat, but for low income households they can often be too costly to repair. 

“This £10 million scheme will provide households with loans to carry out essential repair work and install energy efficiency improvements. 

“This will help us make homes warmer and easier to heat, with our record investment already resulting in two fifths of Scottish homes now being in the top three energy efficiency ratings – an increase of 71% since 2010.”

David Bookbinder, Director of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations, said:

“It has always been clear that equity loan schemes offered by commercial companies won’t be attractive to owners. We therefore warmly welcome this Scottish Government pilot initiative which offers a really good deal for owners who have some equity in their property but can’t afford to pay regular loan interest.

“As well as facing the challenge of dealing with energy efficiency and other works in mixed tenure blocks, a number of community based housing associations would also like to work with their local council to tackle fully private tenements which are in poor condition and an increasing blight on the area. Widening the range of financial options for owners can only increase the chances of making this happen.

“GWSF very much hopes that the scheme can be expanded across Scotland after this pilot in three council areas.”

For more information on SEEP (Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme) Equity Loan Scheme , visit the Energy Savings Trust website.

Alumasc projects succeed at Regional Energy Awards

2 outstanding projects, made thermally efficient using EWI Systems from Alumasc, have been acknowledged at this year’s Energy Efficiency and Retrofit Awards in Yorkshire and London.

Rykneld1The recent installation of Alumasc EWI systems for Rykneld Homes in Derbyshire has resulted in massive improvements in the energy efficiency of 328 homes and has led to Alumasc and their Registered Installer Westdale Services Ltd, being chosen for phase 2 of the project in Renishaw.

Using ECO funding, the £2.3m project used Alumasc’s Swisslab EWI, which is perfect for overcladding existing properties. Westdale Services, installed the system with grey 80mm EPS insulation and finished it with a “Snowdrop” coloured dash effect on a grey render basecoat. To add aesthetic interest to the properties, brick-effect render detailing was added around the windows and door frames, tinted and shaded to remain in keeping with surrounding traditional brick houses.

Westdale Services, EDF Energy and Rykneld Homes proudly picked up the Award for ‘Large Scale Project of the Year’ at the Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Awards.

For more details on the Rykneld Homes project, click here or call Alumasc Area Sales Manager, Nigel Walters on 07720 883 694. For more information on Swisslab EWI, click here.

Meanwhile, at the Ceremony for the Greater London region, a private residence in Kingston, using Alumasc’s Swistherm EWI system with Grey EPS insulation, was Highly Commended.

Architect David Howel-Evans explains:

Hi Res Pic“The new house in Kingston stands on the site of a former bungalow that was demolished as the first step of the construction phase. The Architects were given the opportunity to design the building from scratch and to resolve some of the environmental issues which were presented by the site.

“The EPC for the house makes it A rated, achieving Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. To do this a key component was the external envelope – its walls, windows and roofs are very highly insulated. The walls utilise Alumasc’s Swistherm External Wall Insulation which the Architects selected for its very high insulation levels, but also as it offers a good deal of flexibility in the design and modelling of the deep openings found in the design. The robustness of the Swistherm system was also a key point in its favour over the many thin coat external render systems on the market. The result, as can be seen from the photograph is extremely successful, a compliment to all those involved in its realisation.”

For more information on Alumasc’s Swistherm system, click here or call Area Sales Manager Joe Dawson on 07720 883 677.

Alumasc EWI slashes U-Values for Rykneld Homes

The latest in thermal imaging technology shows the striking transformation that the quality installation of Alumasc EWI systems has brought to social housing residents in North-East Derbyshire.

Rykneld1Housing Association, Rykneld Homes, embarked on the refurbishment of 328 homes in the villages of North Ringfield, Pilsley, Tupton and Dronfield in June 2015. The properties, built of REEMA hollow panel construction, were cold and draughty, with residents paying high fuel bills whilst struggling to maintain heat levels within their homes.

Using ECO funding, the £2.3m project saw the specification of Alumasc’s Swisslab EWI, which is perfect for overcladding existing properties. Alumasc’s Registered Installer Westdale Services, installed the system with grey 80mm EPS insulation and finished it with a “Snowdrop” coloured dash effect on a grey render basecoat. To add aesthetic interest to the properties, brick-effect render detailing was added around the windows and door frames, tinted and shaded to remain in keeping with surrounding traditional brick houses.

Thermal Transformation

Westdale services, who have an established track record of successful EWI installations, partnered closely with Rykneld Homes to utilise the latest in bespoke thermal imaging technology. As such, IRT Surveys Ltd were instructed to undertake infrared thermal imagery on a sample number of properties.

IRT also provided a ‘Carbon Dashboard’, allowing Rykneld’s Asset Managers to undertake sensitivity analyses of their housing stock, identifying energy usage per household and showing them where their resources are best-placed, in order to achieve the maximum improvements to energy efficiency.


The result is, a remarkable transformation in thermal performance. The previous U-value of 1.69W/m2K has been slashed to a new value of 0.30W/m2K and EPC ratings have been improved from band F to band C.

The improved aesthetic appearance of the homes has also enhanced community spirit within the four villages, giving residents a renewed feeling of pride in their surroundings.

Graham Wingfield, Rykneld Homes’ Head of Regeneration & Development, commented:

“This project shows how community-wide regeneration should be done. Well done, with a simple and effective balance of colours and brick render detail, these dilapidated non-traditional properties have overcome their technical difficulties to offer a more attractive and comfortable place to live, with energy performance levels equivalent to that of New-Build schemes.”

Feedback from Ryneld Homes’ residents has also been very positive, with some of them commenting:

“We are highly satisfied with the work. We are much warmer and our bills are already reduced. The workmen have been very pleasant and worked really hard.” (88 Alma Rd).

“My home feels warmer. I am elderly and I feel better in myself now it is warmer. I have no complaints at all and am really pleased with the overall appearance of the house.” (64 Alma Rd).

“Our house is nice and warm and we really like it now!” (60 Alma Rd)

For more information on Swisslab External Wall Insulation, click here

Alumasc deliver thermal success in Goole

The Kingsway refurbishment project in the Goole area of Yorkshire comprises a selection of social housing properties, owned and maintained by East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

Goole102 properties were selected by the Council for exterior refurbishment, to improve thermal performance and to visually regenerate the area and maximise the lifespan of the properties.

Alumasc’s Swisslab EWI system was specified for all property elevations, using 120mm Kooltherm phenolic insulation. This decision was based on the Council’s successful use of Swisslab on previous schemes and the ongoing technical support provided by Alumasc to meet the challenges of the project.

The ambitious energy efficiency improvements required, could only be achieved by using 120mm Kooltherm phenolic board. Other insulation options available for use with Swisslab would have been too thick. With the specification of this system, East Riding of Yorkshire Council has far exceeded the requirements of most local authorities, leading to ‘U’ values of around 0.15W/m2K – far lower than most results achieved using other insulation thicknesses.

The properties were a complex mix of ages, styles and sizes, including detached properties c1800, terraced homes c1900 and semi-detached houses constructed in the 1950s. The period properties presented the challenge of maintaining their features and character and some of the homes had been subject to multiple extensions over the years, meaning significant works were needed to ensure a fluid and seamless finish.

Goole3_Before&AfterA combination of Alumasc’s brick-effect render (M.R. Rendabrick) and Silkolitt silicone render was determined by the surrounding properties to ensure those being refurbished blended in.

Considerable attention was required at one particular property where differing land levels meant side streets sloped down past the house. Alumasc worked closely with Westdale to find a solution which involved a combination of Swisslab being installed to pavement level and Alumasc’s M.R. S2 used below the damp proof course level to avoid bridging the property’s dpc with a non-porous material.

For more information on Swisslab External Wall Insulation, click here.

Swistherm Chosen for Shropshire R&D Project

Alumasc’s Swistherm External Wall Insulation has been used on a £4million project in the heart of Shropshire’s farmland.


Leading British dairy company Dairy Crest, has invested £4 million in a dedicated Food Innovation Centre, designed by architect Jodi Carr from Michael Hyde Associates in Manchester.

The new facility is located on the Harper Adams University campus in Newport, Shropshire and replaces the previous R&D centre that was located on the nearby Crudgington site.

Alumasc’s approved contractor RJ Day Plastering of Market Drayton, installed 233m2 of Swistherm with 80mm mineral wool insulation, finished with Silkolitt 1.5mm Silicone Render, also from Alumasc.


Swistherm is a BBA approved, fully warranted system with an effective life in excess of 30 years. It is fully weather resistant whilst remaining vapour permeable, allowing the fabric of the building to act as a heat store, increasing thermal efficiency.

For more information on Alumasc’s Swistherm External Wall Insulation, click here

New Scottish Energy Efficiency Pilot

The Scottish Government has announced a £14 million scheme to help local authorities pilot new and innovative approaches to energy efficiency to reduce costs and improve warmth in homes, schools, hospitals and businesses, Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil has announced.

Mr Neil said: “Over 900,000 energy efficiency measures have been carried out across homes in Scotland since 2008. SEEP will work with businesses and the commercial sector to see how we can achieve similar successes. This pilot phase will allow councils to test the effectiveness of new approaches to energy efficiency.

“The pilot projects will integrate support across various building types, to evaluate the impact of innovative approaches to funding and delivery, and to test the market appetite for energy efficiency investments in the commercial sector.

“Across Scotland we have allocated over half a billion pounds since 2009 on a raft of measures to help the most vulnerable people in our society heat their homes affordably. SEEP will help extend these measures to ensure homes, businesses and public buildings can benefit from a similar approach.

“This funding will now help local authorities develop projects and help ensure Scotland leads the way in energy efficiency.”

The projects will build upon and integrate existing domestic energy efficiency programmes, bringing together support from the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme, with the Home Energy Efficiency Programme Scotland (HEEPS): Area Based Scheme.

Wilson Shaw, Chair of the National Insulation Association in Scotland, said:

“We welcome this new approach to supporting energy efficiency in Scotland. Funding like this is a much needed boost to the insulation industry and will help support hundreds of jobs across the country.

“The Scottish Government’s HEEPS schemes have been effective in improving the energy efficiency of our homes. It is important to build on this and I especially welcome the promotion of an integrated approach which should improve our ability to help both homes and businesses across Scotland.”

North Herts Residents Benefit from EWI

For much of the UK’s retired population, winter heating costs take up a sizeable amount of what is often a limited income.

Blog3When pensioners in Knebworth, Hertfordshire were feeling the cold in their bungalows, Social Landlord North Herts Homes decided to take action by installing insulation to improve the thermal efficiency of the properties, resulting in lower energy bills for their residents.

Cavity wall insulation was not a viable option as the construction of the bungalows presented a restricted cavity, which made Swisslab External Wall Insulation (EWI)  from Alumasc, the perfect solution.

North Herts Homes also specified that the system should match the existing and surrounding decorative finishes, so a render finish was not acceptable.  Alumasc worked closely with the client to provide a viable technical solution to this problem. The final solution was an insulated system utilising phenolic insulation to keep the overall thickness to a minimum, finished with a matching acrylic brick slip to match the local environment. Alumasc’s aluminium GX gutter system was also used, to give a clean decorative finish to the system.

The final result was virtually indistinguishable from the original finish and the residents will now benefit from a more comfortable environment with reduced fuel bills.

North Herts Homes and all of the residents, have expressed their delight with the warmer, new look homes.

For further details of Alumasc’s thermally efficient External Wall Insulation Systems, click here.

For more information about EWI in the South East, contact Area Manager Joe Dawson on +(44) 7720 883 677.