Littleholm High Rise


External Wall Insulation used in Social Housing refurbishment project in LittleholmTower block before refurbishment.

Project Background:

West Dunbartonshire Council needed to externally refurbish three 16-storey high rise blocks of flats in Clydebank, Glasgow, following a regional survey which found that all three buildings were in need of significant improvement.

The blocks of flats, known as West Court, Clyde Court and Park Court, all at Littleholm Place, were completed in 1968 and comprised of 270 flats. The existing structure consisted thin precast concrete cladding panels fixed into the concrete frame by rebar that had been showing signs of corrosion causing the panels to become loose.

A standard External Wall Insulation system was ruled out because of the inability of the existing concrete panels to take the additional load without the need for first having to remove each panel and inspect and repair them which would have been costly and potentially hazardous.
Residents of the properties were also to remain in their homes during the renovation work.

Client Requirements:
West Dunbartonshire Council wanted a cost effective external refurbishment solution that would:
• Overcome the structural defects associated with the failing cladding panels.
• Bring the blocks up to current Scottish Building Regulations in relation to thermal efficiency requirements.
• Improve the appearance of the blocks that form part of the Clydebank skyline.

Design Solution:Structural External Wall Insulation design solution.
Structherms’s unique Structural External Wall Insulation (SEWI) and Wonderwall systems were specified for the external refurbishment of the Littleholm high rises, as they were ideal for the local authority’s requirements.

The SEWI system comprises of a panel manufactured from rigid insulation strips located in a mechanically-fixed steel wire cage with warren trusses positioned at 100mm centres to provide excellent strength and stability along with spanning and loadbearing capabilities.

The SPH100 panel measuring 2.4m x 1.2m was specified which incorporated a 75mm thick Phenolic insulation core. The vertical spanning method was used to span 2.4m from floor to floor without requiring any fixings going into the defective cladding panels. Instead channels were resin anchored into the floor slab edges and the SEWI panels attached to them using shear receiver brackets. This solution transferred the load of the new cladding directly into the primary structure and prevented any additional loads having to be applied to the existing cladding panels.

To complete the system Structherm UF Fibre reinforced basecoat render 24-26mm thick was applied. This render acts as diaphragm to further reduce panel deflection caused by wind loads.

A final decorative and long lasting ClassicPro Silicone 1.5mm topcoat was then applied to provide the system with a watertight finish and excellent weather resistance.

On the ground floor, Structherm’s insulated real brick slip cladding system Wonderwall, was chosen for it robustness and impact resistant properties. Comprising of a rigid 25mm thick phenolic insulation panel, prebonded to a brickwork coordinating carrier sheet.

Structural External Wall Insulation installation completed.
Project: Littleholm High Rise Blocks

Littleholm, Clydebank

Social Housing Refurbishment

West Dunbartonshire Council

Registered Installer:

Building Type:
Reinforced Concrete Frame with Precast Concrete Cladding Panels

Project Size:
3 x 16 Storey Blocks (11,000m2)

Structural External Wall Insulation

Wonderwall Brick Slip System (ground floor) and ClassicPro Silicone 1.5mm (upper floors)
• The failing cladding panels did not require any structural repairs as the SEWI system was able to secure them without applying any additional loads. This provided a safe, speedy and cost effective solution.

• Thermal performance has improved greatly with the U value of the walls dropping from 0.80W/m2K to 0.22W/m2K.

• The contemporary design and subtle window detailing has significantly improved the external appearance of the blocks and skyline.

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