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.


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 EWI Systems Boost Energy Efficiency On The Victoria Estate

Victoria Estate, FeatherstoneSwisslab and Swistherm External Wall Insulation (EWI) Systems from Alumasc, have been used in the refurbishment of the Victoria Estate in Featherstone, West Yorkshire – a large housing estate of terraced properties managed by Wakefield and District Housing (WDH).

WDH, the largest housing provider in the region, appointed Effective Energy to deliver funding under the ECO initiative for EWI as part of their on-going programme of works at Victoria Estate. The programme also included solar panels, energy efficient boilers, roof and facia soffit repairs, which resulted in a complete external facelift.

In total, Alumasc Registered Contractor CPM Contracts, installed Alumasc EWI systems to 109 properties, in order to provide an energy efficient, weatherproof exterior to the solid brick construction homes, with the added benefit of transforming their appearance, with the new, attractive render finishes.

VictoriaEstateAfter3The lower halves of the properties were fitted with Alumasc’s Swisslab EWI system, faced with a brick-effect render in dark terracotta. This provided a weather resistant exterior, which is highly resistant to impact damage. The upper wall areas were completed with Alumasc’s Swistherm EWI system, incorporating a tinted, high performance Silkolitt silicone render. 90mm EPS insulation formed part of both EWI systems, enhancing thermal performance, resulting in warmer homes.
Both systems were specified by CPM in order to fulfill the client’s brief which required the refurbished properties to blend in with the privately owned properties on the estate. Another challenge was presented by the differing number of outbuildings and building details that needed specific angle beading incorporated to allow for a smooth profile at the properties.

Ian Carter, Managing Director at CPM Contracts, comments:

“This was the first time we had used Alumasc’s EWI systems and we’re delighted with the results. The technical support available to us was first class – the Alumasc team helped us ascertain the correct specification before we started works and offered continuous support throughout the project.

WP_20140924_003The finished result is excellent and we’ve already specified Alumasc EWI at our next project which sees the refurbishment of another 100 properties in the area.”

Speaking about the difference that the EWI has made to the comfort of her home, a Victoria Estate resident said:

“The difference that the insulation has already made is very positive. My gas smart meter payments have gone from £80-£100 per month, down to £35-£40. I’m delighted with the cost savings so far, and my house also feels much warmer and cosier.”

Alumasc EWI systems are BBA approved, fully warranted and are available with a range of design and specification options, across many building types.

For more information, please visit, call +44 (0) 3335 771 700 or email 


Alumasc’s Swisslab External Wall Insulation Transforms Glasgow Housing Scheme

St Andrews Crescent is a 1970St Andrews Crescent’s social housing development owned by Southside Housing Association (SHA), in the Pollokshields area of Glasgow. As part of a major refurbishment scheme, SHA employed jmarchitects and Alumasc registered installers CCG, to design and implement a series of improvements to 48 flats, including Alumasc’s Swisslab External Wall Insulation System.

The 5-storey building, originally of standard brick construction with exposed concrete slabs and a 50mm cavity wall with no insulation, suffered from a number of problems.

Gavin McNab of jmarchitects, explains further:

“The properties in St Andrew’s Crescent experience considerable damp and mould problems as well as high heating costs, particularly on the north elevation. Previous attempts by both tenants and building owners to eradicate the problems, through measures such as ventilation, hadn’t proved successful.”

Alumasc’s Swisslab external wall insulation system was specified as it is a proven solution for over-cladding existing properties, with a track record nearing 30 years. The Swisslab system eradicated the mould and dampness, whilst improving energy efficiency, boosting thermal performance and improving the overall aesthetics of the scheme.
The installation was carried out quickly and efficiently requiring no displacement of residents throughout the works.
As a result of the refurbishment, residents have benefited from warmer and more attractive homes, with U-values now at 0.24W/m2k compared to the previous 1.63W/m2k
The project was nominated for the prestigious RICS Scotland Award in the Regeneration and Residential categories and for a Glasgow Institute of Architects (GIA) Design Award in the Residential category.

In addition, St Andrew’s Crescent was also nominated for a Scottish Civic Trust “My Place” Award.

These awards are a national celebration of good local design and conservation and are nominated by local people. The awards aim to identify projects or buildings that have had a positive impact in a local neighbourhood and have delivered positive benefits to the community. CCG installed 3,500m2 of Alumasc’s Swisslab External Wall Insulation with 130mm EPS Insulation to all elevations. The scheme was finished with Alumasc’s Silkolitt silicone render, in cream/off white.

Alumasc EWI systems are BBA approved, fully warranted and are available with a range of design and specification options, across many building types.

To find out more about Alumasc’s External Wall Insulation Systems click here or call +44 (0) 3335 771 700.

Swisslab External Wall Insulation chosen for South Greenfield Render Project

Swisslab external wall insulation (EWI) from Alumasc, has been used in the colourful refurbishment of a social housing scheme in Shettleston, Glasgow.

alumasc, external wall insulation, swisslab, ewi, south greenfields

The South Greenfield Render Project is a £3.2million refurbishment programme implemented by Shettleston Housing Association to upgrade the insulation and improve the aesthetics of a scheme of 1960’s tenement flats. The new-look development is already gaining industry recognition and was recently a finalist in the AJ Retrofit Awards 2013.

Alumasc’s Swisslab EWI system is regularly used for regeneration projects as it eliminates cold bridging, condensation and mould growth and protects the structural fabric of the building with an effective life in excess of 30 years.  Existing properties are transformed in both their external appearance and thermal efficiency.

As a major element of the retrofit works, over 10,000m2 of Swisslab was installed. The overall combination of the insulation and external render has greatly improved thermal performance from the original U-Value of 1.36 w/m2k to an impressive 0.3 w/m2k.  Alumasc’s registered applicator at South Greenfield was Volker Laser Ltd and the main contractor was Cruden Building and Renewals Ltd.

The Swisslab system for this scheme was specified with 80mm EPS insulation on the majority of properties, however due to a past history of flooding, extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation was used in the lower areas of the installation.  XPS is a closed cell insulation board, able to withstand wet and damp conditions, therefore minimising the risk of damage to the EWI system in the event of future flooding at the site.

The system was finished with Silkolitt, Alumasc’s high-performing silicone render, in 12 varying colours. John Gilbert of John Gilbert Architects in Glasgow, explains his vision for the colourful exterior:

“We felt that using colour brought life and interest to the tenements and, combined with the changes we made at each entrance, enhanced the experience of walking down the street. I think that people are now a lot happier having a front entrance to their homes that they feel is welcoming to visitors as well as themselves.”

Going on to talk about the Alumasc products used in the project, John said: “We specified Alumasc because the range of colour choices was good and the value of the product was sound. We have worked with Alumasc on projects spanning the last 20 years, and have no problem in using their products time and time again.”

Alumasc EWI systems are BBA approved, fully warranted and are available with a range of design and specification options, across many building types.

For more information on Alumasc’s External Wall Insulation Systems, please visit alternatively email

For literature, call Alumasc on 0808 100 2008.

Swistherm Transforms Salford Housing Scheme

Alumasc’s Swistherm External Wall Insulation (EWI) system has been used to transform the thermal performance and aesthetic appeal of a social housing scheme in Salford.

Managed by multi-award-winning social housing company, Salix Homes, the 54 flats at Stoney Knoll and Gloverfield are No Fines Construction which is typically regarded as ‘hard to treat’.

StoneyKnoll_PRThe Swistherm EWI system was a key element in the programme of works to upgrade the flats to Decent Homes standards. BLD Construction installed 3,000m2 of Swistherm with 110mm EPS insulation to all the external walls, finished with ST Silkolitt silicone render in off-white with a rolled texture.

The installation has dramatically improved the thermal performance of the properties, with U-values improving from 2.0w/m2k to an impressive 0.30w/m2k.

Externally, the ST Silkolitt silicone render has helped to transform the buildings’ appearance, achieving a clean, contemporary finish to meet the client’s brief. The refurbishment of the scheme has helped to improve the residents’ living conditions whilst also contributing to the regeneration of the area.

Having worked extensively with Alumasc previously, BLD Construction had no hesitation in recommending Swistherm for this project. Director Bruce Day commented: “The No Fines surface of these properties was very uneven. Swistherm enabled us to get a true and even line so the facade was as smooth as possible – the refurbishment has given a real boost to residents. Alumasc’s systems are our preferred EWI solution, as the material is superior and we find Alumasc’s sales, service and technical support at every level, to be second to none.”

Swistherm 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.

Swistherm can be faced with Alumasc’s range of Silicone or Mineral renders which create a rolled surface texture, in a wide range of colours.

Alumasc External Wall Insulation Systems come together at Croydon House

Swisslab and Swistherm External Wall Insulation (EWI) systems from Alumasc, have been used together to overcome a number of aesthetic and technical challenges in the extensive refurbishment of Croydon House in Bristol.

Croydon House is an 18-storey residential tower block managed by Bristol City Council, who required an EWI solution to improve the building’s thermal performance and to upgrade the existing brick façade in accordance with local planning regulations.

Alumasc achieved this using the Swistherm system on floors 1-17 with acrylic brick slips supplied in terracotta and buff to exactly match the existing bricks of the building.  On the ground floor, Swisslab was installed with traditional brick slips to ensure a more robust, impact resistant build up. Creating an exact match for both the acrylic and clay slips was essential to maintain aesthetic continuity, yet despite using two different materials, Alumasc succeeded in emulating the colour and texture of the original brickwork whilst maintaining water resistance throughout the facade. In addition, existing balcony areas were enclosed using timber framing and overclad with Alumasc EWI systems, providing residents with increased, thermally improved, living spaces.

The systems were installed by Alumasc Approved Installer Rateavon of Bristol using approximately 3000m2 of 80mm EPS insulation and 180,000 brick slips. Use of the systems has resulted in a significant improvement in the building’s thermal performance from a U-value of 1.39 W/m2K to 0.26 W/m2K, vastly improving the living conditions for residents inside the building.

For more information on Swistherm, click here

Swistherm Chosen for St Vincent Terrace

Alumasc’s Swistherm External Wall Insulation (EWI) system and ST Silkolitt silicone render have been used for one of Glasgow’s largest ever residential regeneration projects – the refurbishment of 196 homes across five blocks of flats at St Vincent Terrace, Glasgow.

Swistherm was specified for its ability to meet the considerable challenges presented by the properties which are constructed from ‘hard to treat’ Bison Concrete Panels. The Swistherm system has achieved a significant improvement in thermal performance of the project with U-Values across the site being reduced to 0.28W/m2K.

The project was the largest external fabric upgrade ever undertaken by Alumasc approved installers, CCG (Scotland) Ltd, who installed a total of 20,000m2 of Swistherm with 100mm and 60mm mineral wool insulation to the facades and stairwells of five tower blocks ranging from 9 to 13 storeys high.

The sheer scale of the site and its location in the heart of a busy urban area presented major challenges with regard to health and safety, access and logistics.

At the time of refurbishment, St Vincent Terrace was managed by Glasgow Housing Association, who were keen to find an insulated render system that provided an appropriate contemporary finish for such a prominent landmark, whilst also meeting local planning regulations. Tenants were closely involved in the selection of Alumasc’s ST Silkolitt silicone render, which was specified in cream and a variety of blue shades.

Swistherm is a thin-coat insulated render system available for use with a choice of insulation materials including Mineral Wool, EPS and Cork. The system is BBA accredited, fully warranted and ideally suited to properties that require thermal upgrading and aesthetic improvement.

It is manufactured under ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001: 2004 Quality and Environmental Management Systems, is fully weather resistant, and can be faced with Alumasc’s range of Silicone or Mineral renders which are available in a choice of textures and colours.

For further details on Alumasc’s Swistherm External Wall Insulation systems click here

Swistherm Improves Energy Efficiency at George Hall Court

Alumasc’s Swistherm External Wall Insulation (EWI) system has provided a high performance, weather tight façade solution for a Supported Housing scheme in Swindon.

George Hall Court is an eight storey tower block comprising 30 flats managed by Swindon Borough Council. As part of a major redevelopment of the area, the Council was tasked with bringing the building’s energy efficiency levels up to the latest standards and improving the aesthetics to match that of surrounding properties.

The building had an existing EWI system which no longer met Part L of the Building Regulations and therefore required a thermal upgrade. The solution was to overclad the building with 2000m2 of the Alumasc Swistherm system utilising 30mm EPS insulation. Specialist mechanical fixings were used, with a setting tool for penetration of the existing EWI, to ensure the load was transferred through the fixing and only dissipated through the load bearing substrate. The new system resulted in the scheme’s energy efficiency being improved from a U-Value of 0.46W/m2K to 0.33W/m2K. The installation was carried out by Alumasc’s approved contractor Mark Group.

The ST Silkolitt decorative silicone finish has created an attractive rolled texture for the building, which now looks refreshed and modern. Silkolitt was also used to face Alumasc’s  Render-only system on the low level external concrete skirting and as a decorative finish in the foyer. Importantly, the nature of the EWI system enabled residents at George Hall Court to remain in their homes for the duration of the refurbishment work.

John Black, a senior surveyor with Swindon Borough Council, commented: “The Alumasc insulation system and render finish have greatly improved the aesthetics of the building and helped to bring it into keeping with the redeveloped area. The system has also improved U-Values and the results have been received very favourably by residents.”

For more information on Swistherm External Wall Insulation, click here

For more information on Silkolitt silicone render, click here

Moss Bank shortlisted in Greenbuild Awards 2012

The completed refurbishment

Helena Partnership’s Moss Bank housing scheme in St Helens has been shortlisted in the Domestic Retrofit category of this year’s Greenbuild Awards. 

Alumasc’s Swisspan External Wall Insulation was installed on the scheme which comprises 107 British Iron and Steel Federation (BISF) homes, well known for their poor thermal insulation and environmental performance. 

Following intensive research into the choice of systems and manufacturers available, Helena Partnership’s design team specified Alumasc’s Swisspan EWI system incorporating 100mm of Kingspan Kooltherm® K5 External Wall Board insulation, which was installed to the ground and first floor walls by Alumasc’s Approved Installer Forrest of Preston. Since the refurbishment, the U-value of the properties has reduced from 2.09W/m2.K to 0.257W/m2.K, significantly reducing the cost of fuel bills. 

The One Show’s Lucy Siegle will be presenting the award winners at Greenbuild Expo in Manchester on 9th and 10th May, where Alumasc will be showcasing their EWI systems ahead of the forthcoming Green Deal. 

To read the full Moss Bank case study, click here. 

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