Slatyford Estate, Newcastle

Slatyford Estate, Newcastle

Client: Your Homes Newcastle
Contractor: Straightline Construction
Sub-contractor: Sykes Specialist Contracting Ltd
Type of works: supply of the Swisslab External Wall Insulation system from Alumasc.

A ‘Hard-To-Treat’ social housing scheme in Newcastle has been given a new lease of life thanks to Swisslab external wall insulation (EWI) from Alumasc.

The Slatyford Estate is managed by the city’s ALMO, Your Homes Newcastle, and forms part of a £500m programme to bring Newcastle’s 30,000 housing stock up to Decent Homes Standard by 2011.

Slatyford is one of many estates built in the 1950’s using Wimpey No Fines Construction, which notoriously presents a number of challenges during refurbishment. The ‘honeycomb’ nature of No Fines concrete makes the external walls vulnerable to damp and results in poor insulation properties. These issues needed to be addressed by the new façade system, whilst providing a consistent, vibrant finish to regenerate the look of the area.

Alumasc Approved Contractor Sykes Specialist Contracting Ltd of Gateshead installed the Swisslab EWI to 18 3-storey structures, using 50mm phenolic high density insulation panels to hugely improve the thermal performance of the scheme. A significant reduction in U-Value was achieved, taking the previous reading from 2.11W/m2K down to 0.35W/m2K. Used extensively to upgrade social housing in order to meet the Decent Homes Standard, Swisslab is a BBA approved, fully warranted system with a life expectancy in excess of 30 years. Swisslab strongly contributes to urban regeneration, providing outstanding energy efficiency and reducing heating costs. The system also allowed work to take place with no displacement of residents.

The Swisslab system was faced with 1.5mm ST Silkolitt silicone render in shades of Cream with a rolled finish. Silkolitt is vapour permeable and highly water resistant, allowing the building to breathe and assisting further with the issues of internal condensation brought about by Wimpey No Fines.

Alumasc Acrylic Brickslips were then used to construct string and soldier feature bands in Buff and Terracotta. Acrylic brick slips have been developed directly to complement Alumasc’s wide range of lightweight render systems and are extensively used to match existing detail after renovation work. They offer a hard-wearing, UV-stable solution on areas of façade where the use of real bricks would not be viable due to their weight.

The mix of aggregates in No Fines construction also presents difficulties when applying fixings. Alumasc’s Technical Team performed pull-out tests to ascertain the correct fixings for use with the difficult substructure, ensuring that the system could resist the design wind load.

Alumasc’s Swisslab system is recommended by the Energy Saving Trust for its contribution to the improved overall thermal performance of existing inefficient, hard-to-treat homes. It is manufactured under ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001:2004 Quality and Environmental Management Systems.

Main Contractors on the Slatyford Project were Straightline Construction of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

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