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.

Alumasc Projects Highly Commended by INCA

Two outstanding refurbishment projects from Alumasc have been Highly Commended at this year’s INCA Awards.

Seagate_PRpicThe Awards represent the flagship event for the external wall insulation (EWI) industry designed to recognise and promote the quality of installation carried out by INCA members. Alumasc also received recognition for 4 additional projects which were all shortlisted in their respective categories.

The first of Alumasc’s projects to be Highly Commended was Seagate Court in the Domestic Refurbishment High Rise category. 

Seagate Court prior to refurb
Seagate Court prior to refurb

The project had been subject to rigorous weathering due to its coastal location in East Wittering – and it required a major external overhaul. 

2200 square metres of Swistherm EWI was installed to all exterior facades of the four blocks by Alumasc’s Registered Installer Primars Coatings of Middlesex. The system was insulated with a 90mm EPS and finished with Alumasc’s high performance silicone render.

See full project details here


The second successful project was Pine Street in Durham, where over 100 properties had their appearance and energy performance completely transformed by the installation of Alumasc’s Swisslab EWI system.

Pine Street prior to refurb
Pine Street prior to refurb

Alumasc’s Registered Installer Westdale Services, installed the system at the scheme, with a 90mm grey EPS insulation and finished with a brick-effect render.

See full project details here

In addition to the recognition for its installations, Alumasc is proud to announce that Greg Curtis was also Highly Commended in the Outstanding Achievement Category for Training.

Picture 134With over 25 years’ industry experience, Greg has helped develop many careers in EWI installation. As a loyal member of the Alumasc on-site technical team, he always strives for the best possible install when coaching and training both approved and new installers.

Greg is an ambassador for quality workmanship and the high standards that INCA promotes to our industry.

For more information, visit INCA here.

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.

Alumasc Facades Continues to Expand Technical Support

In response to an ever-developing Facades market, Alumasc is continuing to expand its on-site technical support, this time with the recruitment of Patrick Aldridge.

image1Patrick joins the Alumasc team as Site Technician for the South East of England, bringing with him more than 13 years’ experience in construction, with previous roles in surveying, contracts management and time spent as an EWI installer.

Being fully conversant in modern construction methods, Patrick sees the move to Alumasc as an opportunity to maximise his skills with a company that thrives on innovation. He says:

“I have always been impressed with Alumasc’s approach to the delivery of quality products and their commitment to product development.

“My previous experience of the Facades industry will serve as a solid foundation to my new role – I already know what to expect on site and what the clients and contractors will expect from us.”

Alumasc Facades has seen a sustained period of growth which has called for constant development of their product portfolio in order to meet changing demand, most recently seeing the launch of their new EWI Guttering range and the highly advanced Alumasc Ventilated System (AVS).

Patrick intends to be fully involved with Alumasc’s ongoing research and development programme, commenting:

“The Facades industry is having to constantly adapt with the need to overcome issues brought about by changing weather, housing requirements and aging housing stock. For manufacturers to remain competitive they need to supply high quality products at the right price WITHOUT cutting corners.

“Success can only be achieved by staying one step ahead of the game – introducing relevant new products and systems, which are practical and actually work.”

Alumasc pride themselves on strong relationships with their industry colleagues and have delivered some of the UK’s most successful EWI schemes of the past 60 years.

For more information on the full Alumasc Facades product range, visit or call Patrick Aldridge on 07464 491 908.


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.

INCA Responds to ECO2 Consultation

INCA_thumbINCA has submitted a comprehensive response to the ECO2 consultation on behalf of the EWI industry.

The consultation was published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change in June this year, with these main objectives;

– to provide interested parties with visibility of the DECC’s high level vision for supplier obligations to 2022

– to set out specific proposals for a first set of reforms, to be delivered from 2017

– to seek views on both the proposed changes for this first year transition and the high level design for the longer term (2018-22).

The response from INCA, calls on Government to double the target for SWI measures in the 2017 ECO transition period.

Analysis undertaken by AgilityEco on behalf of INCA shows that the cost estimates in the Government Impact Assessment are overstated by more than £200 million and that the ECO support required to deliver SWI is much lower than assumed.

The response also highlights that the low target is likely to be achieved even before the new scheme begins and the resulting hiatus could reduce industry capacity for future years.

INCA will continue to work with DBEIS to ensure that the target for SWI under ECO is based on accurate evidence and a strong focus is given to SWI in order to tackle fuel poverty.

You can view the consultation document here and see INCA’s response 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

Blog5small Blog6

Swisslab to the rescue in County Durham

Over 100 properties in Stanley, County Durham have had their appearance and energy performance completely transformed by the installation of Alumasc’s Swisslab External Wall Insulation system.

PineSt_BeforeAlumasc’s Registered Installer Westdale Services, installed the system at the scheme which comprises a mix of social housing and privately-owned homes, mostly terraced. Swisslab was installed with a 90mm grey EPS insulation and finished with a brick-effect render. The project was financially supported by both Durham County Council and the ECO scheme, with private homeowners contributing a small percentage of the cost.

The properties were constructed around 1900, and  so the toughest challenge preseted by the project was to preserve the detailing and heritage of the homes – this was paramount to its success in terms of both community and resident satisfaction.

This challenge was met by the use of Alumasc’s Rendabrick, with the colour and detailing matched perfectly to the original construction.  The versatility of this product allowed period features, such as stone sills, to be replicated, whilst ensuring the replica brickwork was “true” in terms of colour and style.

Furthermore, the Victorian constructions had been the subject of various additions and extensions over the years.  This meant that although the main construction was solid brick, some of these extensions had cavity walls.  Both Alumasc’s and Westdale’s technical expertise was invaluable when it came to dealing with different insulation requirements that this presented.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlumasc and Westdale worked closely together to identify a suitable cavity fill insulation which could be used on these areas prior to the brick render installation, thus ensuring continuity of thermal performance and appearance.

A further challenge was presented by the weather which saw the installers often working in
cold, wet and windy conditions due to the area’s exposure to the elements. The combination of Swisslab’s ease of installation, and Westdale’s extensive EWI experience meant the impact of these weather conditions was minimal.

Speaking about the project, Alumasc Facades Area Manager, Tyrone Lawton, comments:

“The transformation of these homes is very impressive – not only do they look fantastic – blending entirely into the surrounding area – but residents are reaping the rewards in terms of energy cost savings and better thermal efficiency.

“It’s worth highlighting that every single private homeowner opted to take part in this project which is in itself very impressive – a 100 per cent take up is rare, especially when financial contributions are involved.”

For more information on Swisslab External Wall Insulation, click here

Rugby Star unveils transformation at Bron Afon social housing project

bron3Construction partners, local residents and regional press, recently attended an open day, hosted by Alumasc’s Registered Contractor Westdale Services Ltd, to celebrate the successful refurbishment of a new housing scheme managed by Bron Afon Housing Association.

Rugby legend Scott Quinnell was guest speaker at the event. Mr Quinnell who has served in the British Lions and as Welsh Rugby Captain, unveiled the transformation to the Bron Afon scheme at Monmouth Close, New Inn, Cwmbran, which was refurbished using an EWI and render system from Alumasc.

At the unveiling, he commented:

“These homes look beautiful, you would never know they are the same buildings as before.”

The Bron Afon scheme prior to refurbishment
The Bron Afon scheme prior to refurbishment

Westdale Services Ltd have a long track record of successful refurbishments using Alumasc EWI systems and have so far installed the Swistherm system to 10 of the blocks, which were previously clad in PVC. The old façade was replaced with marine grade ply, to which the Swistherm system was installed. The blocks were then finished in 1.5mm Mineral Render, also from Alumasc, with silicone façade paint in off white and light grey.

More than 50 members of the public and New Inn Primary School children joined the street party atmosphere on Monmouth Road and took part in the ceremony which went on for several hours, with awards handed out to some of the workers involved with the refurbishment. Bron Afon also commemorated the Queen’s 90th birthday and presented a plaque as part of the opening.

Business development manager for Westdale Services, Iain Wheeler, said: “Working with Bron Afon, Alumasc and residents to give a much-needed boost to the flats, has been a valuable experience.

Bron Afon’s director of property, Keith Wrate, added:

“The blocks were revitalised as part of the programme of work, which will transform the appearance of this area.”

For more information on Swistherm, click here, or call Lee Carter on 07801 253798.


The invisible brilliance of Art Brick from Alumasc

As EWI products constantly evolve, manufacturers are under constant pressure to present the industry with new and innovative ideas.

Blog1_ArtbrickAlumasc already have an impressive portfolio of products, designed to improve the thermal efficiency and aesthetic appearance of virtually all types of construction, whether new build, refurbishment, or non-traditional. But when properties are built or refurbished amongst existing properties, the need for them to blend seamlessly into their surroundings, can sometimes be restricted, if available renders don’t quite match the existing finish.

To address this need, Alumasc’s Registered Contractor Westdale Services Ltd have taken Alumasc’s Rendabrick to the next level.

Introducing Art Brick

Westdale Services have developed Art Brick – an advanced brick effect render that can be tinted, textured and coloured to match into any surrounding brick, allowing a limitless aesthetic choice.

Blog3_Before_AfterHaving worked with Alumasc products successfully on numerous projects, Westdale Services started development of the new Art Brick render system in order to increase the options available to both newbuild and refurbishment projects that might otherwise have encountered planning issues.

With more properties being built on small plots of land in between existing properties, the need to blend with the surroundings has become more widespread, and Westdale felt there was a requirement for a finish that offered increased depth of colour and additional textures.

Suitable for both newbuild and refurbishment, Art Brick can provide any colour and texture, with long-term durability and protection from efflorescence. The result is a cost effective brick façade solution that can be installed without the requirement for pre-made brick slips or corner brick slips.

blog2_passagewayIt is suitable for installation onto any EWI system, including the exclusive Alumasc Ventilated System (AVS). When used with AVS, Art Brick provides a decorative rainscreen solution for timber frame and steel frame construction, offering specifiers, homeowners and housebuilders the widest and most cost effective choice of external wall solutions on the market.
For more information on AVS, click here

For more details on Art Brick, contact Area Sales Manager Tyrone Lawton on 07720 883 650.