Building projects I like – Insulated Render in renovating hard to treat properties
A lot of our projects involve period or aging properties and very often these properties have solid brick or masonry walls. Generally clients wish to gain increased space through extending and in most cases they also wish to increase the performance of the building.
From a comfort and also from a sustainability point of view we see the greatest benefit as coming from lifting the performance of the whole building. Our aim is usually to bring all elements up to or exceeding the current building regulations. This is usually a step further than the requirements of the building regulations but it does offer significant gains. I will not go into the details of all the building elements in this piece but will instead concentrate on the walls.
As a rule we prefer to build in a similar way to that of the existing. Solid block walls (with no cavity) can be built in-line and abutted to the original solid brick walls which is neater and more stable than joining solid external walls to cavity walls.
As with the structure, we like to treat old and new in the same way. External insulation and modern render systems are a great way of adding insulation to the entire building in a uniform way.
- Insulates the building on the outside – where it is most effective
- Best way to avoid issues of condensation within the building structure
- Avoids issues of cold bridging especially at window and door jams and at the junctions of floors, ceilings and internal walls with external walls
- Great for improving air tightness
- Specialist trade, after main structure is built means insulation fitting can be to the highest
quality and give best possible performance
- Solid block on the inside and insulation on the outside gives great thermal mass which gives increased efficiency and a more pleasant environment for centrally heated buildings
- Coloured coatings offer freedom of choice of colour and never need painting
- Can be continued at a reduced thickness below the DPC level to avoid cold bridging at the floor level (can be covered with brick slips if plinth design is needed)
Our experience is of clients being very pleased with the results as it is a great way of making the new and old areas of a property look and feel warm, comfortable and unified. It is also simple from a construction point of view and keeps things clear for the guys on site, enabling them to turn out a first class job.
In the first image below the entire property, new and old were insulated in this way. In the second, the front elevation of the property which amounts to around 20% had to be insulated internally due to Planning Restrictions.