In November 2019, social housing provider Magenta Living awarded a new external wall insulation contract to Sustainable Building Services (UK) Ltd (SBS).
Scheduled to start in January 2020, the work will entail installing EWI to approximately 84 occupied properties in the Bromborough area of Wirral.
The contract is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, which required that the contract should deliver energy efficiency improvements as well as an important element of innovation.
In this case, the innovation stems from close collaboration between ourselves, the client and the system designer PermaRock Products Ltd. Working together from the earliest stages, we devised a system that would greatly improve the heat retention of the properties and, crucially, would closely match the appearance of the neighbouring homes.
Properties in the immediate vicinity are brick-built, so the EWI system required a brick finish. The product chosen for this project is PermaRock Brick Effect Render - a two-coat polymer-modified cement-based render, which is specifically designed to simulate the appearance of brickwork.
However, the brickwork on the existing properties had weathered over time, and the client wanted to ensure that the finished EWI system would be a close colour match. As a result, PermaRock has provided an innovative solution to replicate the existing facades.
Another innovative element that appealed to the client was the high level of collaboration proposed for the installation stages. SBS recommended that PermaRock technical staff be assigned to inspect work on site as it progresses, and our operatives would require their sign-off before being allowed to continue to the next stage. In this way, we and PermaRock will ensure that all work is installed strictly according to the specification.
This is an approach that we have used very successfully on previous projects, and one that was specifically commended in the influential governmental report "Each Home Counts."
A third but equally important consideration was fire safety. PermaRock Brick Effect Render will be applied over a PermaRock Mineral Fibre External Wall Insulation system, and the whole system will achieve an A2-s1, d0 fire classification (assessed to EN 13501-1). Consequently, it is suitable for use on buildings of any height, including those with a storey height above 18 metres.
"We were awarded this contract on the basis of our commitment to innovations in design and quality assurance," said SBS Group Commercial Director Gary Lawson. "We have very well proven processes that deliver quality and design flexibility, and so we're looking forward to starting on site and showing the client exactly what we can do."
The project is scheduled to run for 39 weeks and is valued at approx. £750,000.