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.




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.



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

New premises for Alumasc Facades in Scotland

As Alumasc Facades continues to develop its product and services offer nationwide, EWI contractors and installers in Scotland are benefitting from new Alumasc premises in Glasgow. Based just minutes from Glasgow City Centre, the Scottish Head Office in Kinning Park, presents a far more convenient location for visitors, with close links to the M8 and M74.

Over the last 3 years, Alumasc Facades in Scotland have seen a steady increase in sales in both the refurbishment and new build sectors. This increased activity has brought about a requirement not only to accommodate growing staff numbers but also to provide a more convenient location for Alumasc’s expanding customer base, who previously had to travel more than 10 miles out of Glasgow when visiting.Milnpark Alumasc Facades

The new Head Office is based on the Milnpark Trading Estate and is home to the Sales and Technical teams as well as Alumasc’s state of the art Warehouse and Distribution facility. Barrie Robertson, Alumasc’s General Manager for Scotland, explains:

“As we experience further growth in the housebuilding, healthcare and education sectors, it became apparent that our location needed to be more central. As a forward thinking company, Alumasc decided to make the move, enabling us to effectively deliver on our commitment to the needs of local construction colleagues.

“This move is indicative of the strong position currently being experienced by Alumasc in the facades sector and reinforces our provision of the highest quality products and customer service in Scotland.”

Alumasc’s Managing Director in Scotland, Lorraine Dunsire, concludes:

“Alumasc are keen to ensure that we can not only support our existing clients to full effect, but that we can also accommodate all of the new opportunities currently happening across Scotland, maintaining our reputation for the very best Technical expertise. The new premises has given us room to grow and to welcome future opportunities with confidence that we are well-equipped to deal with them successfully.”

For more information, call Barrie Robertson on 07720 883 693.

Alumasc Ventilated System used on stunning Rutland extension

stamford1The new Alumasc Ventilated System has been used to create an unusual addition to a beautiful detached property in Oakham, Rutland.

The property, owned by Phil and Marianne Valiente, is of Canadian timber frame design, so it was therefore important that a system was found to complement the existing construction.

K&M Interiors of Melton Mowbray, were recommended to the owners for the external rendering. Being an Alumasc Registered Installer, K&M had extensive experience in the use of Alumasc systems. Following lengthy discussions about the benefits of the Ventilated System, it was specified for use on two separate extensions; one being a single storey to the rear of the property, accommodating a new kitchen/diner. The other, a two storey extension, would accommodate additional upstairs space and a reconfigured downstairs area, with living room, office and downstairs WC.

stamford2When used as part of a timber frame construction, the Alumasc Ventilated System is quick and easy to install, presenting a more efficient and sustainable alternative to traditional brick and block methods. It offers an engineered, stylish facade solution, designed to provide a fully ventilated cavity, which keeps the timber substrate moisture-free.

The project was finished in Alumasc’s Silkolitt 1.5mm silicone render in white and the system is also compatible with brick slip finishes.

Marianne Valiente comments:

“We were looking for a modern, high performance product that would incorporate the existing cedar shingles, whilst meeting our time constraints and the requirements of our local planning department.

“K&M talked us through the Alumasc system in great detail and we compared it to the alternatives. After receiving quotes for other solutions, we agreed that the Alumasc Ventilated System was vastly superior and offered us better guarantees. We had a lot of contact with the team from K&M, and found them to be professional, highly knowledgeable and very helpful.”

stamford3She concludes:

“K&M Interiors did a great job and we’re thrilled with how it looks. We’re now even considering having some of the brickwork at the front of the house rendered.”

The Alumasc Ventilated System has been rigorously tested, resulting in compliance with all UK building regulations (Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales) and it became British Board of Agrément certified in May 2015. It also offers the option of use in off-site construction and adheres to the requirements and guidelines of both the NHBC and TRADA.

For more information please call Nigel Walters on 07720 883694.

London Strives for Zero Carbon Homes

Boxtree Lane in Harrow – newbuild using Swisslab EWI from Alumasc

Following the Government announcement to scrap its zero carbon homes policy last year, the Greater London Authority (GLA) is continuing to pursue a policy of zero carbon homes.

As outlined in the Housing Supplementary Planning Guide from 1 October 2016 the Mayor will apply a zero carbon standard to new residential developments in the capital. 

The Housing SPG defines ‘Zero carbon’ homes as homes forming part of major development applications where the residential element of the application achieves at least 35% below the national energy efficiency standard set in Part L of the 2013 building regulations; however, any remaining on-site emissions that exceed the zero carbon target will be offset through a cash-in-lieu contribution to the relevant borough.

Funds will be ring-fenced to secure the delivery of carbon dioxide savings elsewhere. 


boxtree1To summarise, the emission reduction targets the GLA will apply to applications, are as follows:

– Stage 1 schemes received by the Mayor up until 30 September 2016 – 35% below Part L 2013 for both residential and commercial development.

– Stage 1 schemes received by the Mayor on or after the 1st October 2016– Zero carbon (as defined in section 5.2 of the Housing SPG) for residential development and 35% below Part L 2013 for commercial development.

Download the Housing Supplementary Planning Guide Document here

For more information, visit the GLA Website

FMB Survey Published

The number of households in England, is growing at the rate of over 220,000 per year, but worryingly, the last time more than 200,000 homes were built in a single year in England was in 1988, with only 124,520 new homes built in 2014/15.


To enable growth in output among existing firms, an increase in new entrants to the industry and to make better use the of the large numbers of skilled small contractors who would have the capacity, a number of major barriers
need to be addressed. These barriers and structural constraints are feeding into this serious loss of capacity in UK house building.

Issues which continue to effect SME house builders, have been pinpointed as follows:
– Access to finance for small developers and new entrants
– The availability of suitable and viable small sites
– Disproportionate cost, complexity and delay in the planning system
– Excessive demands for developer contributions placed on small sites

The FMB conducts a yearly survey of its house builder members – and this year’s results make for an interesting read with regards to these points.

Key findings from the survey include:

– Two-thirds of SME house builders cite a ‘lack of available and viable land’ as the biggest barrier to increasing numbers
– Half of SMEs see the planning system and difficulties accessing finance as other serious challenges
– 40% believe the construction skills crisis is now presenting a major impediment to building more homes
– The under-resourcing of local authority planning departments is the most important cause of delays in the planning process
– A high proportion of SMEs believe that consumer demand for new homes remains resilient, even in the wake of Brexit

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said:

 “The biggest challenge facing SME house builders is the planning process. Councils need to find a way of allocating and granting planning permission for more small sites. The current focus on large sites is squeezing out smaller developers, which is reducing competition in the housing market at a time when we need more, not less, choice. The limited supply of opportunities for small scale development is one of a number of key structural constraints that has seen the number of homes built by SMEs decline from around two thirds in the late 1980s to less than a quarter today.”

Read the full FMB House Builders’ Survey here.

Alumasc Cork Used On Cutting Edge Coastal Oddity

Alumasc Facades have carried out their very first project using Cork as a decorative finish – and it’s causing something of a stir.


Set on harsh coastal salt-marshes in Essex, the beach house project was the brainchild of owner Marcus Taylor, who had a vision of creating something extraordinary that pushed boundaries in terms of both aesthetics and environmental synergy. Having drafted in Architect Lisa Shell, the two worked together to realise the vision, named Redshank, after the resident wading birds, and the result is quite remarkable.

Blog2_maunsellMarcus Taylor was responsible for the initial idea, inspired by the Maunsell sea forts, which are visible from the beach house. Used as platforms for anti-aircraft guns in the second world war, the forts are imposing four-legged pods that can’t fail to leave an impression on anyone who sees them. Marcus also knew from the outset that he wanted Cork as the finish. He comments:

Blog3“I was interested in achieving a finished surface out of the same materials that formed the structure and the weathering skin. The idea of using cork started as a joke, due to its Blog4buoyancy – the site floods at high tide – but the more we explored its characteristics, the more appropriate it became.”

Architect Lisa Shell was completely onboard with the vision and was keen to cover the house in a material that represented the “fusion of nature and technology”.

Alumasc supplied its Swistherm External Wall Insulation system with 150mm Cork as the decorative insulation panels to the final design, which is a 48m2 one-bedroomed living space, constructed from CLT (cross laminated timber). It stands on three steel supports, which not only tip a nod to the Maunsell sea forts, but also ensure the construction remains sympathetic to its surrounding by offering minimum impact on the natural habitat of the salt marsh. Cork covers the top, underside and all four walls of the exterior; insulating, waterproofing and naturally changing colour with the weather, sitting perfectly alongside the local vegetation.

For more information about Alumasc’s Cork Insulation system, download the brochure here or call Area Salesman Joe Dawson on 07720 883 677.

Images courtesy of Lisa Shell Architects

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Alumasc Render creates stunning finish at Shrewsbury Business Park


A new commercial development in the heart of Shropshire has benefitted from an Alumasc Render finish – creating a stunning, contemporary appearance with maximum appeal for new businesses.

Designed by Barry Prince of DGA Architects and managed by Main Contractor Matrix IDC Ltd, Shrewsbury Business Park is an ongoing development, which has just moved into Phase 2, providing 15,000 square metres of office space including 929 square metres of mixed use facilities.

Developer Alaska is providing custom buildings for individual companies, and aims to create further opportunities for local businesses, and regional and national firms seeking a presence in the area.

SBP2The first phase of 6 hectares is complete with about 15,000 square metres already built. Units are being added to the business park on a regular basis and Alumasc’s high performance Silkolitt Silicone Render has been specified for all blocks.

Installation of the system is being carried out by Alumasc’s Registered Contractor J Minton plastering, with a 1.5mm topcoat, which will ensure a low maintenance, highly impact resistant finish for the life-time of the buildings.

For more information on Alumasc’s ST Silkolitt Silicone Render, click here, or call Area Salesman Nigel Walters on 07720 883694.


New Bill provides boost for Housebuilding

The government has announced a new Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill as part of the Queen’s speech. The new Bill will contain measures to further strengthen neighbourhood planning and make the compulsory purchase order process ‘clearer, fairer and faster’.

The Bill, which comes less than a week after the Housing and Planning Act achieved Royal Assent, aims to support the government’s ambition to deliver one million new homes, whilst protecting areas such as the green belt, and deliver “the homes and infrastructure that this country needs”.

It will address the “overuse, and in some cases, misuse” of planning conditions. It also seeks to bolster neighbourhood planning, streamline the compulsory purchase order (CPO) process and reform the Land Registry.

The Bill will ensure that local planning authorities can only impose pre-commencement planning conditions where it is absolutely necessary. By addressing the overuse and sometimes misuse of certain planning conditions, the legislation will be geared to ensure that new housing can commence without unnecessary delay, the government said.

The new Bill will also further strengthen neighbourhood planning, handing more power to local people and making more transparent the local government duty to support groups. The Bill will also aim to improve the process for reviewing and updating plans.

Under the Bill, the compulsory purchase order process will be clearer, faster and fairer for those involved in it, the government said. This area of the Bill will also include reform of the context in which compensation is negotiated, “often a very significant and complex part of finalising a compulsory purchase deal”.

The Bill will also enable the privatisation the Land Registry “which would support the delivery of a modern, digitally-based land registration service that will benefit the Land Registry’s customers, such as people buying or selling their home.”

Staying Fit with Alumasc

As part of the ongoing development of Central Bedfordshire, Bedford Based Design and Build Contractor SDC were commissioned to deliver a new dynamic sports centre for the town of Flitwick in Bedfordshire, adjacent to the existing centre which is due to be demolished. flitwick-sports-centre

As with many of today’s new build’s: a variety of facades finishes were specified, including a quality long-lasting, coloured render system, to give a bright, clean and seamless finish to the building’s facade. Alumasc were selected due to it’s proven track record and the technical support prior, during and at completion of the project.

Alumasc Approved Applicator Jordaya Ltd were awarded the contract and installed the ST render Only System to the highest standard within a tight programme. Alumasc are delighted to have been able to meet all requirements and wish the residents of Flitwick and surrounding town’s and villages many years of enjoyment at the centre.

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

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

Swistherm Chosen for Babraham Science Park

Alumasc’s Swistherm (EWI) has been used at the new Babraham Research Campus – the leading hub of biomedical innovation in Cambridge.

blog3Registered Installer Jordaya Ltd, installed 700m2 of the Swistherm system to two office and laboratory buildings at the impressive facility, which was the result of a £44million Government investment.

Swistherm was specified following other successful installations on the same site and due to its flexibility to meet the challenging technical requirements of main contractor SDC. EPS insulation was used in thicknesses varying between 90mm and 140mm to provide a highly thermally efficient U-Value of 0.25w/m2K and the installation was finished in Silkolitt Silicone Render, also from Alumasc.

Blog1Swistherm is a BBA approved, fully warranted, thin coat insulated render system comprising insulation slabs which are mechanically fixed direct to a continuous substrate. The choice of insulation materials includes Mineral Wool, Expanded Polystyrene and Cork.

Alumasc’s ST thin-coat Silicone renders
are used as a contemporary finish to new-build applications and the re-modelling of existing facades in both render only and external wall insulation applications. High performing Silicone renders are highly water-repellent, vapour permeable and weather resistant.

The Silkolitt silicone finish is available with a rolled texture in a wide range of colours.