Alumasc Facades Returns to Help with BBC’s DIY SOS Project

Alumasc Facades were delighted to be asked back to help Nick Knowles and his DIY SOS team to complete a truly remarkable project; returning to renovate the final empty house in a village for military veterans in Manchester.

The project, which started 2 years ago, transformed an entire street into a community for ex-servicemen and women to live in. Its profile was raised by the presence of Prince William and Prince Harry amongst the hundreds of volunteers that joined the DIY SOS team to bring the vision to reality.

Last year, the final home was renovated for a decorated former soldier, Simon Flores and his young family. Presenter Nick said: “We have done some brilliant builds down the years but this really is the end of the greatest project the DIY SOS team have carried out.

“It will certainly be a bittersweet moment when we close the door on the final home knowing we’ve built some superb houses with the necessary support, employment and community services available to help our veterans now and in the years to come.”

Alumasc were proud to provide Alumasc Polymer Render (MR S5) to help completely rejuvenate the external wall of this home and all 61 of the others in the village. The Alumasc Polymer Render is a BBA approved, fully warranted system with an effective life in excess of 30 year when used over the Swisslab or Swisspan EWI systems.

L-R: Alumasc Area Technical Manager Andrew Gait, James Richardson of Haig Housing, Site Surveyor Kevin Atkinson

Regional Technical Manager Andrew Gait comments on completion of the project:

“It goes without saying that Alumasc Facades was very keen to support this big build project for DIY SOS. From start to finish, the project was a massive team effort – all the contractors and suppliers on site were highly supportive of each other and our only objective was to provide a much-needed community for some of our most deserving war veterans.

“The use of the Alumasc Polymer Render has helped to create a stunning and weathertight finish to the homes that will protect the building against the elements for years to come.

The episode featuring the final house reveal of the project airs tonight on BBC at 8pm.

External Wall Insulation or Rainscreen Cladding? What are the differences?

northfield-high-rise-refurbishment- external-wall-insulation

Following the horrific events at Grenfell Tower, questions have been asked regarding the performance of externally-insulated systems and cladding systems have subsequently been removed from a number of high-rise residences. In view of the government’s drive to deliver more thermally efficient buildings, a significant number of properties have been retrofitted with additional insulation and cladding over the last 5 years. It is therefore important to distinguish between the two systems that will have been most widely used in these refurbishment works, i.e. rainscreen cladding and external wall insulation.

Rainscreen cladding systems

As the name suggests, rainscreen systems are designed to protect the building from the weather. Rainscreen cladding systems will typically comprise a decorative outer panel (e.g. aluminium composite material (ACM), ceramic, fibre cement, glass) which is connected to the structure of the building with a lightweight metal frame. The framework is used to create a cavity so that the insulation can be fixed to the wall, whilst still allowing an air gap to exist between the outer panel and the insulation. This air gap is required for ventilation and drainage. The nature of these systems is such that the external panel and different components within the system can be procured independently of each other to form a hybrid solution.

External wall insulation (EWI) systems

External wall insulation (EWI) systems typically comprise an insulation board that is adhered (and often mechanically fixed) to the outside face of the wall. The insulation board is encapsulated with two layers of cementitious render either side of a fibreglass mesh reinforcement. A further coat of cementitious render is then applied to achieve the finished appearance. Each layer is applied directly to the surface of the previously installed layer, without the introduction of any cavities.

To be eligible for use in funded schemes (e.g. ECO2T, CERT, CESP), EWI systems must be accredited by third party bodies such as the British Board of Agrément (BBA). Accreditation requires extensive testing into the system’s performance in respect of combustibility, structural integrity, water absorption and vapour permeability inter alia. This level of system testing reduces the likelihood of hybrid systems being accepted for use, as these tests form the basis of the third party’s attestation of compliance with the relevant building regulations.

To comply with building regulations pertaining to fire on high-rise residences, either the components of the system must be classed as non-combustible or the specific configuration must have been subjected to a full-scale fire test to prove the required response of the system in the event of a fire. EWI systems that are classified as non-combustible will comprise mineral wool insulation. However, full-scale fire tests have indicated that other insulations, including expanded polystyrene (EPS), can also be used when encapsulated in A1 or A2 rated cementitious renders.

When contrasting EWI and rainscreen systems, there are fundamental differences in the materials used, the construction configuration and the system accreditation requirements. As such, it is important to consider the performance of EWI systems independently from the findings pertaining to rainscreen cladding systems.

By Simon Poë | Managing Director of Alumasc Facades

Statement by Alumasc Facades – 19th June 2017

We are aware of an article in the Scottish newspaper “The Sunday Mail” dated 18th June which refers to a number of projects at West Dunbartonshire, Scotland. Alumasc is cited in this article as the supplier of the Alumasc Swisslab Grey EPS system on high-rise buildings. However, there are a number of inaccurate statements in the article with regard to Alumasc and we would therefore comment as follows:

The Alumasc Swisslab Grey EPS system was approved for use on buildings and compliant with Building (Scotland) Regulations both before and after the changes made to those Regulations in 2013.

The statements in the article that the panels were “sub-standard”, “had been deemed a potential fire hazard”, were “suddenly changed to ‘low risk'” and required an “exemption to building standards” are therefore wholly inaccurate.

The article claims that “the cladding used across the council area is called (Alumasc) Swisslab Grey EPS.” However, there are references to and photographs of high rise buildings that had systems that were supplied by others and not by Alumasc.

Indeed, the Alumasc external wall insulation (EWI) system supplied on behalf of West Dunbartonshire Council under this scheme was for low-rise properties only and no high-rise buildings were supplied by Alumasc.

The article also refers to the “Grenfell-style cladding” and implies misleadingly that the Alumasc EWI system used on the West Dunbartonshire scheme was similar to the rainscreen cladding system that was reportedly used at Grenfell Tower.

There were a number of significant differences between the two systems which the article does not comment on. The key differences include:

1. The Alumasc EWI system has been extensively tested and includes a non-combustible mineral render that encapsulates the EPS insulation. The Alumasc EWI system was not finished with the polyethylene cored aluminium composite material (ACM) panel that is widely reported to have clad the Grenfell Tower; and

2. The Alumasc EWI system was directly fixed to an existing masonry substrate. The article references that voids can “act as a chimney for flames”. However, there is no such void between the insulation and outer skin of the EWI system supplied by Alumasc to this scheme.

Finally, we would like to reassure our customers that the EWI system that we supplied to Turner Facilities Management was at all times safe and remains so.

We have specialised in the design and manufacture of EWI systems for over 25 years and safety issues have, and continue to be, a key consideration for us on all our projects across the UK. Our systems have been approved by the British Board of Agrément, including an attestation that Alumasc’s systems can meet the requirements of the building regulations pertaining to the spread of fire.

If any of our customers have any concerns or questions, please refer to our website (www.alumascfacades.com) or contact us on 01744 648435.”

Alumasc Dominate Manchester Skyline

 

8 outstanding high-rise refurbishment projects are now benefiting from EWI systems by Alumasc Facades. These innovative systems are helping to visually rejuvenate the area whilst providing improved thermal efficiency and comfort to hundreds of residents.

Magnolia Court, Sycamore Court & Mulberry Court

Mulberry Court

Alumasc refurbished 3 high-rise buildings with Salix Homes and Seddon Construction LTD: Magnolia Court, Sycamore Court and Mulberry Court – the latter winning an award for Regional Large-Scale Project of the Year at the Energy Efficiency Awards held in April. Credit for the award is shared between Seddon Construction LTD, Salix Homes and Alumasc Facades – and recognises the energy efficiency measures introduced by the Government following the Energy Act 2013. These measures help homeowners reduce their energy bills, tackle fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions. These high-rise buildings were originally specified in White EPS but during the specification stage, Alumasc obtained a BBA Certificate for the more thermally efficient Grey EPS, so the more efficient insulation was utilised instead.

Delaney Heights & Adelphi Court

Working with The Guinness Partnership, another 2 blocks have been transformed and improved both thermally and aesthetically using Alumasc’s Swistherm Mineral Wool system. The £9 million project in Salford transformed a former student accommodation block into 119 affordable rent homes – including specially adapted apartments on the ground floor for those with disabilities.

Clifford Lamb Court

Clifford Lamb Court – Before and After

Northwards Housing Association called on Alumasc to work together to help tenants stay warm and save money on fuels bills at Clifford Lamb Court in Greater Manchester. External insulation and new windows were installed on the Blackley high-rise block so that tenants can make the most of a cutting-edge heat pump which gets heat from the earth’s core by pumping brine 150m into the ground before bringing it back up to use in the building through individual heat pumps in each property. It’s the first time that this kind of Heat Pump technology (using a shared ground array serving individual heat pumps) has ever been used in a multi-storey housing block. The energy produced by the pump alone has helped tenants to save on their heating bills, but by making these extra improvements, Clifford Lamb residents will be even better off as more heat will stay inside the building. In total, the improvements will save around 850 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

Grosvenor House & Ryecroft House

Alumasc’s Swisslab system was chosen by Ashton Pioneer Homes and installed by The Casey Group Ltd to reinstate the existing EWI system that had exceeded its life span on Grosvenor House and Ryecroft House in Ashton-under-Lyne. Balcony cladding systems were secured to the majority of balconies, providing protection to the structure whilst improving the overall appearance of the block.

Energy Efficiency

EWI is a cost-effective and energy efficient solution for high-rise blocks allowing for an aesthetic transformation of the building and the surrounding area. Improved thermal performance results in less fuel consumption and therefore less CO2 emissions leading to a typical saving of around 30% on tenants’ heating bills.

View the gallery of Alumasc’s high-rise projects.

Download Alumasc’s full High-Rise Brochure.

For more information on External Wall Insulation click here or please call us on 03335 771 700.

Call area technical manager Andy Gait on 07876 773 064 for information on EWI in the Manchester/North West area or to book a CPD.

Tried. Tested. Trusted. Alumasc M.R. S6 Masonry Paint

Alumasc MR S6 Masonry Paint has been used by professional tradesmen for over 30 years.

Tried. Tested. Trusted by Alumasc

Whether your building has a traditional or contemporary appearance, Alumasc MR S6 Masonry Paint provides a visually stunning finish to your property.

Available in white or 6 other standard colours:

Non-Standard colours available on request

Alumasc MR S6 Masonry Paint has excellent coverage rates and is specially formulated to be:

  •          Waterproof
  •          Durable
  •          Breathable
  •          Dirst resistant
  •          Quick and easy to apply

For price and availability please call 03335 771700 or email: info@alumascfacades.com

Order now on: 03335 771 700

Introducing EWI Gutter from Alumasc Facades – Giving refurbishments the new build look

EWI-Gutter-MainAlumasc Facades have been a trusted manufacturer of External Wall Insulation systems for over 60 years and have now applied their knowledge of the building envelope to a brand new EWI Gutter Range.

EWI Gutter from Alumasc Facades, has been designed specifically to address the problem of cold bridging at eaves level whilst creating an aesthetically pleasing and cost effective alternative to standard verge trims on refurbishment projects.

As refurbishment of existing properties continues to trend, the new EWI Gutter system offers architects and home-owners a retrofit solution with a new build look. Gone are the days of rotting timber and brittle, sun-damaged PVC, Alumasc’s EWI Gutter presents a long-lasting, low maintenance alternative, manufactured in Aluminium to provide a clean, contemporary finish.

Box and Ogee are available as standard profiles, and with manufacturing taking place at Alumasc’s plant in the UK, bespoke profiles can easily be provided.

Bringing the benefits of Alumasc’s on-site technical knowledge and support, together with a network of Registered Installers, EWI Gutter is lightweight, quick and easy to install, with lifetime maintenance costs being far lower than those presented by high-maintenance alternatives. The product is supplied painted, in black, white or grey as standard, with additional colour matches available on request.

Technical Director for Alumasc Facades, Mark Gibbs, comments:

“As a trusted supplier of External Wall Insulation systems, we work on hundreds of projects that are subject to design restrictions inflicted by retrofit rainwater systems. Having developed our own system, to perfectly complement the quality finish of our facades, we have opened up a range of new options to architects and designers, which allow for a far more contemporary ‘newly built’ look.

“We are also aware that our colleagues see advantages in a one-source product offer. They already know Alumasc offer unrivalled products and technical support, so the addition of the EWI Gutter system further supports the whole process whilst also addressing ever-important budget considerations. It is widely acknowledged that Aluminium presents greater value for money over the lifetime of the product. When installed to Alumasc recommendations, the result is a long-lasting solution that can withstand the rigours of the British weather for just as long as the EWI .”

For more information, please call Alumasc Facades on (0) 3335 771 700.

http://www.alumascfacades.co.uk/products/external-wall-insulation/ewi-gutter-system/

LABC Registered Approval for 3 Alumasc Facades Systems

LABC External Wall Insulation

Alumasc Facades is pleased to announce that the Alumasc Ventilated System (AVS) has been awarded LABC & LABSS certificates. These AVS systems have been rigorously tested for key factors including:

  • Mechanical Resistance & Stability
  • Safety in case of Fire
  • Health, Hygiene and Environmental
  • Safety in Use
  • Durability serviceability and identification

Local authority building control (LABC) Registered Details is a one-off certification process proving compliance with building regulations and standards across England, Wales and Scotland. LABC & LABSS registration helps to ensure acceptance by all local authorities across England, Wales and Scotland whilst making the building control process more efficient.

Registered Alumasc Facades EWI Systems

The Alumasc Ventilated System (AVS) consists of back-ventilated external cladding which is mechanically fixed to either treated timber battens or galvanised rails which is designed for use in conjunction with timber framed substrates. The system includes a carrier board on which a render base coat is bonded.

Visit our website for more information on our render and external wall insulation systems.

Book a CPD for your organisation. Seminars include: External Wall InsulationAlumasc Ventilated System and Utilising External Wall Insulation on High Rise Buildings.

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.

Best Practice in the Thermal Upgrade of High Rise Buildings

Alumasc’s Technical Director Mark Gibbs explains what specifiers should be looking for in their chosen EWI system for high-rise and why safe installation is paramount.

blackfriars_main Why EWI?

Specification for the multi-storey application of External Wall Insulation is very different to that of low-rise projects, with health and safety procedures being a key consideration in the thermal upgrade of high-rise buildings.

EWI is a cost effective method of achieving the thermal and aesthetic upgrade of buildings. EWI has been used in the UK for the refurbishment of high rise projects for over 25 years. The solution is particularly effective for, although not limited to, high-rise social housing schemes of non-traditional or traditional type construction. Condensation, water ingress and the poor thermal performance of many of these blocks has been addressed by specifying EWI, providing a U-Value to comply with current Building Regulations.

EWI System Build-up for High-Rise 

To achieve the thermal requirements of the project, the appropriate type of EWI insulation board is mechanically and adhesively fixed to the substrate. A polymer modified reinforcing base coat, incorporating a fibreglass reinforcement mesh, is then applied. Once this has fully cured, there is a choice of finishes ranging from traditional dash or painted renders, to more modern through-coloured silicone renders.

riverbank1High-Rise, not High Risk

High-rise EWI specification is different to that of low rise because the insulation boards must be adhesively and mechanically fixed. Wind load calculations are essential and the edge zones, external corners and openings require increased mechanical fixings to accommodate higher wind loads. The calculations must always be conducted by Structural Engineering Consultants to ensure structural stability, required performance and system longevity.

Specified EWI systems must be officially accredited and approved for use in high-rise application. A large scale fire test or reaction to fire test is required for the system when used above 18m in height.

Installation Considerations

As well as through-the-wall square metre rates, there are additional detailing considerations compared to low-rise. These include parapet, lightening conductor, CCTV, external lights, robust window cill details, ground floor entrance areas etc.

It is critical that all the detailing is robust and installed as per specification. Once the wall access is removed any repairs are more difficult and costly to address than for low-rise projects.

Scaffold ties should be fixed in the most practical locations and protected scaffolding is recommended. Alternatively, mast climbers are an economical and faster track option for EWI install but offer less protection to newly installed work. Programming considerations should always allow for weather conditions.

Energy Efficiency

EWI is a cost-effective and energy efficient solution for high-rise blocks allowing for an aesthetic transformation of the building and the surrounding area. Improved thermal performance results in less fuel consumption and therefore less CO2 emissions leading to a typical saving of around 30% on tenants’ heating bills.

View the gallery of Alumasc’s high-rise projects.

Download Alumasc’s full High-Rise Brochure.

For more information on External Wall Insulation click here or please call us on 03335 771 700.

Beat the winter building blues with ST Mineral K Render from Alumasc Facades

We can rely on the constant unpredictability of the British weather, yet every winter seems to descend on the construction industry with an element of surprise. Year after year, as untimely conditions put pressure on build projects, we continue to endure missed deadlines and increased costs. But this has been addressed by Alumasc Facades, who have manufactured the perfect solution, allowing work to continue during low temperature conditions.

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ST MINERAL K RENDER

Alumasc’s ST Mineral K Render offers far quicker setting times than silicone render during winter months, giving installers greater flexibility to apply the product in extended periods of bad weather.

It is touch dry in just a few hours.

Suitable for use across all Alumasc External Wall Insulation Systems and also for direct application onto solid walls, ST Mineral K Render is lightweight, yet highly impact and weather resistant, whilst also remaining vapour permeable.

The product can be left with its original white finish without the need to paint, or alternatively can be overpainted with Alumasc’s Silicone Facades Paint which opens up a contemporary, wide-ranging colour palette.

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screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-14-00-22Ideal for both newbuild and remodelling applications, it provides a breathable, flexible, weather-tight decorative finish to any building.

Alumasc’s ST Mineral K Render is eco-friendly, manufactured using only natural materials (mineral aggregates, and white marble grain) and is available with a rolled texture in 2, 3 and 4mm grain sizes, boasting Class 0 surface spread of flame.

The product is manufactured under ISO 9001: 2008 and ISO 14001: 2004 Quality and Environmental Management systems and is fully BBA approved.

For further information, please call Alumasc on 03335 771 700