Versatility meets sustainability

Clean, classic, green, award-winning – what’s not to like about insulated render? Aliva UK’s Justin Price explains why it ticks all the boxes when it comes to modern facade design

Given that more than a third of the heat in a building is lost through its walls, high-quality insulated render that gives a stylish, contemporary finish is a serious consideration for any eco-friendly building project. Insulated render is hugely versatile. It can provide quality, individual looks for buildings across many sectors including retail, residential hospitality, leisure, and education. In Weston-super-Mare, a white insulated render and ceramic tile seamlessly reflected a building’s classic Art Deco beginnings whilst at the same time modernising tired 1980s conference facilities (pictured, right). The brief was to redevelop Weston College’s little-used conference facilities into an environmentally conscious educational centre.

Future proof

Insulated render fitted the bill perfectly. Its thermo credentials and design flexibility enabled View Architects to design an award-winning energy-conscious building that tied in with the rest of the building at the same time as future-proofing for generations of students. To achieve an Art Deco look, cut stone was the first choice for the building’s logo – however that amount of stone would have been too heavy. High performance rainscreen cladding was specified instead – a lighter product made entirely from natural materials to support the building’s eco-conscious design. The tile was cut with the logo ‘Winter Gardens’, linking the new entrance to the identity of the building.

Modernisation and refurbishment

Another advantage to insulated render is that it is a cost-effective way to update buildings to meet current building and thermal value regulations, and provide better housing. Thermal render helps reduce the cost of living for tenants, thereby addressing fuel poverty for vulnerable tenants, as well as reducing carbon emissions. Add to that its versatility – thanks to a huge palette of colours – it remains the preferred option for architects looking to update tired buildings cost-effectively. As well as being cost-effective, insulated render is also straightforward to apply – with expert supervision – and can keep its clean, good looks for years. Insulated render can also be combined with brick slips to ensure the restored buildings stay true to their surroundings. In Salford, Greater Manchester, a 1960s tower block was transformed by HLP Architects thanks to a lightweight insulated render that created a modern aesthetic and thermal fabric for the building. The architect chose render in salmon pink, plus blue smooth traditional and lightweight stock effect brick slips, to complement the existing brick structure and surrounding buildings. The result was a bright, modern finish that transformed the look of an ageing building into an exemplar for 21st Century high-rise living.

No limits

Insulated render can be installed quickly over large areas, and without height restrictions, which makes it ideal for taller buildings. It is also easy to install, allowing contractors to keep to tight schedules. A 12-storey high rise block in Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester, is a perfect demonstration of the advantages of insulated render. It allowed for the use of a textured finish in white and blue-grey that transformed the tired exterior while meeting the need for both thermal and external upgrades. A blue brick slip over a mineral wool insulation complemented the traditionally laid brickwork to the apartment blocks. Insulated render’s versatility and reliability also made it the ideal material for Telford’s Building Schools for the Future project. Architect Faulkner Browns needed to clad seven schools in an eco-friendly fashion. The bespoke insulated render finishes allowed the contractor to keep to a tight schedule of delivery deadlines – while ensuring individual branding for each school in a wide variety of colours.

Futuristic cladding

Insulated render can create a continuous clean, stylish envelope for buildings with complicated shapes and lines. With insulated render’s self-cleaning and anti-algae properties, architects can design modern, sleek buildings without fear of early wear and tear. AEW Architects created an award-winning building for telephone answering firm Moneypenny with the help of insulated render. The smooth, crisp facade wraps in unbroken lines around the exterior of the building, providing a faultless finish thanks to 5,000 m2 of the material. Insulated render ensures buildings both old and new meet modern thermal requirements, while providing a beautiful, weatherproof and long-lasting finish. It is worth considering for all types of projects, as the design permutations and colours are endless.

Justin Price is sales director at Aliva UK