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Insulated Render used to Thermally Upgrade Run Down Blocks of Flats

Insulated renders, used to thermally upgrade run-down blocks of flats, are playing a major role in defeating drug and anti-social behaviour, quite apart from curing cold, damp and condensation problems. This is because they are being widely used to re-model outdated flats, dispensing with ‘drug runs’ and adding aesthetic appeal so that local residents take pride in their community and local environment.

To recognise this, the Insulated Render and Cladding Association gives one of its prestigious Andy Swan Awards annually for the best use of insulated renders in the refurbishment of high/medium-rise flats.

Winner of the 2007 awards is Callender Court, Gateshead. This concrete panel block was totally modernised internally and externally, to give the look of a modern development, whilst improving the thermal efficiency. PermaRock insulated render was used to provide both the aesthetic and thermal improvements – 80 mm of mineral wool insulation achieved 0.35W/m2K. The white through-coloured render system, together with new windows and a new metal roof, brought the block up to modern living standards. The specifier was Edwin Trotter Associates; the system designer, Permarock Products Ltd; and the installer, George Howe Ltd – the latter two members of INCA.

The runner-up was the Tarling Estate, Tarling Road, London, where insulated render enabled the regeneration of run-down housing stock into a lively urban landscape for residents, with a thermal performance of 0.33W/m2K. This was a mixed refurbishment and new build project, using two different render systems Swisslab and Swisrail. Refurbishment was over a brick built substrate; new build on a steel frame. Building Regulations thermal efficiency requirements were to be met on both with any condensation problems eliminated and lower heating bills for existing residents. The new build phase incorporated a 25 mm cavity between the insulation and frame and achieved 0.32W/m2K. Both render solutions were contemporary and needed to be aesthetically pleasing to residents. The specifier was BPTW Partnerships; the system designer, Alumasc Exterior Building Products Ltd; and the installer, Specialist External Render Systems Ltd – the latter two members of INCA.

Highly commended were the Newlife Apartments, Beaumont and Claremont Court, Spring Boroughs, Northampton. The requirement was to turn mostly empty cold, damp and run-down flats, used for anti-social behaviour and drug dealing, into modern, warm and affordable homes. The building was stripped back to its original framework, re-designed and modernised both internally and externally. External brickwork was complemented by the Weber.therm insulated render finished system and steel/glass private balconies. The flats have been improved to current Part L standards, becoming a focal point for the area, providing modern homes and reducing crime in the area. The specifier was LHA – ASRA (Leicester Housing Association); the system designer, Weber; and the installer, Makers UK Ltd – the latter two being INCA members.

These projects will be illustrated at a Seminar, sponsored by the Insulated Render & Cladding Association, to be held on October 16, at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, Drayton Park, London N5. Registered social landlords and other specifiers are invited to attend by personal invitation.

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