Aiming for the sky - new Build and Re-modelling Awards 2003 presented by INCA at London seminar

Topics Covered

Woolwich Manor Way
Open University Building IX
Central House


Woolwich Manor Way

Aiming towards the London sky is a fine new seven-storey riverside apartment block, at Woolwich Manor Way, North Woolwich, with a striking white render finish. Its aesthetic features, coupled with its lightweight timber framed construction, won the project the new build residential category of the INCA 2003 Awards, sponsored by the Insulated Render and Cladding Association for the best use of external wall insulation. The Awards were presented by David Norris, of the Housing Corporation, at a function held in London recently.

For Woolwich Manor Way, a lightweight construction was essential as piling was not a viable option for this riverside London site. The specifier, St James Group, also required light, clean lines and a contemporary, seamless flexible finish. The timber frame provided the lightweight structure and the PermaRock mineral fibre external wall insulation fulfilled the other requirements.

A 1.5mm acrylic finish was applied for flexibility, the jointless white render providing modern seamless lines, with architectural profiles for interest. The U-value was well below current Building Regulation requirements, was achieved due to the insulated timber frame, with the added bonus of 30mm of mineral wool provided within the external wall insulation system. The system designer was Permarock Ltd, based at Loughborough; the applicator George Howe Ltd, of Durham, both members of the Insulated Render and Cladding Association.

The Open University Building IX

The winner of the best new commercial building was the Open University, Building ix, at Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, which sports an interesting array of curved and angled elements. The best re-modelled development is an imposing multi-storey apartment block – Central House, Marshgate Lane, Bow, London - with the distinction of being one of the largest installations to feature external wall insulation.

For the Open University Building ix, the specifier, Peter Haddon and Partners, Northampton, wished to create vast seamless curved walls and a façade to envelope and protect the rest of the building, whilst providing good thermal values and an aesthetically pleasing appearance. The large curved building is mixed with strong vibrant through-coloured render finish for angled towers containing meeting rooms, stairs and service areas.

The StoTherm Mineral external wall insulation system was applied, the mineral wool insulation and flexible render top coat, to 1.5 and 2.00mm, providing the seamless curved wall. The render was silicone based to protect the building, as mature trees were maintained whilst the project was on site. StoVerotec panels were the least expensive way to provide the large facades to the towers.

The concrete frame and walls provide an excellent thermal mass and, combined with the 120mm Rockwool Lamella insulation on the outside, the thermal efficiency is high, saving considerable energy. For added interest the building has free-standing monolithic features and abstract designs. The main contractor is Bowmer and Kirkland Ltd; the system designer Sto Ltd, based at Paisley; and the applicator, Harrison Render Systems, Darlington; the latter two INCA members.

Central House

Central House is an imposing multi-storey development of one and two bedroom apartments located just off the Bow Flyover in Stratford. The scheme was an extensive remodelling of an existing Government building, where only the existing frame was retained. An intricate framework of infill panels was subsequently installed to which over 6,500 sq m of Isotherm external wall insulation was installed.

The specifer, Barratt East London Ltd, required a through–coloured 1.5mm low maintenance render, with a scraped texture finish, that would stay clean and fresh, with a minimum 30-year lifecycle, resistant to fire, and with an insurance backed guarantee. A selfcleaning silicone render was applied to combat the high pollution in London. A 0.45 U-value was achieved with the use of 60mm mineral fibre.

The external wall insulation system was selected for its quality decorative finish, low maintenance and the speed and ease with which it was installed within the tight build schedule. It also provided an environmentally friendly solution, which is weather and impact resistant. The architects for the project were CHBC Architects, Newmarket, the system designer, Alumasc Exterior Building Products Ltd, Merseyside, and the applicator, Specialist External Render Systems Ltd, Gwent, the latter two both INCA members.

The three winning projects were presented to the Seminar for specifiers. David Norris then spoke on the role of the Housing Corporation, and how it was moving to innovative construction. This was followed by a questions and answer forum, the presentation of the Award Certificates, and an exhibition of external wall insulation systems.  

Primary author(s): Allder, G.

Source: The Insulated Render & Cladding Association


For further information on this source please contact Insulated Render & Cladding Association or email

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