Dinnington, Rotherham

A new red brick colour has been created for the webertherm External Wall Insulation system chosen by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council for their property upgrade programme in the Dinnington area.

The webertherm XM EWI system, finished with weberend RB Render Brick in the new Georgian Red colour, has been created to accurately match the established red brick Georgian properties in the area. The senior Building Surveyor for RMBC required that the properties being thermally improved should match the traditional aesthetics, as far as reasonably practical, and the Weber laboratory at Flitwick, Bedfordshire, subsequently developed the new colour to add to the existing palette.  Additionally, a distressed finish has been achieved by artistic application of webersil P, a silicone enhanced masonry paint, to create an even more natural, aged brick effect. This process has been enthusiastically welcomed by both RMBC and the residents in maintaining the traditional colours of the now thermally enhanced properties.

The 88 properties in this project were built in the 1930s and were identified as hard to treat, some with solid walls and some with narrow cavities of varied dimensions. To achieve a target u-value of 0.28W/m²K from 1.48 W/m²K, 80mm of expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation has been fixed to the outer walls as part of the webertherm XM system and finished with the weberend RB Render Brick finish, a combination of two coloured mortars used together to create the brick effect finish.

Once the insulation material has been fixed to the structure, an initial coat of weberend LAC render is applied over the insulation with a mesh-cloth reinforcement laid into it. A second pass of weberend LAC is then applied which is finished with a lightly comb-scratched surface to encourage the bond with the weberend RBB base coat which acts as the mortar line in the brick effect. This is applied at 7-8mm thick and ruled to achieve a flat, in-plane surface. When this has taken-up a 2-3mm coat of weberend RBF face coat is applied and the surface lightly textured with a soft bristle brush to create the brick face. When this coat has taken up the brick pattern is marked carefully and cuts are made through the face coat render to expose the base coat to achieve an authentic, bonded brickwork appearance. The weberend RB system is a cost effective and attractive finish giving excellent weather protection for varying climatic conditions.  In conjunction with the brick effect, the existing rendered panels were replicated using webertherm XP, a through-coloured one coat render in ivory achieving the welcome, fresh contrast RMBC required.

The Hall Construction Group, Kingston upon Hull, successfully tendered as the main contractor for the project and Mark Thompson, contracts manager, explains the broad scope of the programme. “We have carried out work to the roofs, some window replacements and DPC work, but the main element has been the EWI.  We brought in Skyline as the applicator and together we created warmer, more efficient and attractive properties, producing an excellent match between the EWI properties and others in the area. Residents are already telling us that the properties are wonderfully warm and that they have had to turn their thermostats right down!”

Skyline Construction Services Ltd., Wakefield, West Yorkshire, is a Weber recommended applicator who was appointed to install the EWI at Dinnington.  Contracts manager John Mullins worked with Weber to develop the new Georgian Red for Rotherham: “The client needed to match the traditional red brick finish of properties in the area and chose from colour samples we completed on test panels on site. Getting the distressed brick finish required very accurate roller work from my teams but the result is excellent and has been much praised in the community. As winter comes in the residents are really experiencing the great benefits of the Weber EWI system, which brings the U values up to modern building standards, and enjoying greater warmth for less expenditure on their heating costs. We believe that the Weber EWI system is the market leader and does everything we require in this type of project.”

Residents of the Dinnington properties welcomed the greatly improved appearance of the properties and are enjoying the high performance benefits of good thermal insulation.

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