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An attractive Victorian semi-detached solid wall property in Thornton Heath, South London falls within the ‘hard-to-treat’ category along with over 30% of the UK’s housing stock.  To avoid losing as much as 45% of heat through untreated walls these properties can only be thermally improved with the use of solid wall insulation.

The owner of this 19th century property, Ian McMeeken, has spent a lifetime career in the construction industry and has become one of the leading energy saving experts.  Having reviewed the thermal efficiency and energy requirement of his own home he took the decision to apply External Wall Insulation (EWI) to the property.  His current role as senior contracts manager at Wates Living Space involves undertaking energy saving and sustainability research projects and with his experience, Ian is confident that the application of EWI will dramatically improve the property’s energy efficiency.

Having many expert contacts in the construction industry Mr McMeeken quickly settled on the benefits of the Saint-Gobain Weber weber.therm XM EWI system and secured the services of Network Weber approved applicator Ser Contractor Limited, Mitcham, Surrey. The Victorian facade of the house includes many attractive stone cornice and filigree motifs which needed to be either removed and replaced or re-modelled and installed once the Saint-Gobain Weber EWI system had been applied.

“I was insistent that we retained all the architectural details that make these period buildings so pleasing on the eye. I have 20 years’ experience of recasting concrete cills and of using latex moulds to replicate illustrative stonework on properties of all ages and architectural styles.  This has actually become a hobby of mine and I have a good understanding of working with glass reinforced plastic,” says Ian McMeeken.  “There was never any intention to cover the entire façade with EWI due to the complexity of the application, especially the front two-storey bay window.”  Here the intention is to apply internal wall insulation to complete the property’s thermal upgrade.

Costin Serban, managing director of Ser Contractor, and a team of six EWI installers provide a multi-skilled construction contractor service across London and the Home Counties. The team took personal responsibility for Mr McMeeken’s innovative and challenging project. “We are a Network Weber approved EWI installer and our trade team members have attended the excellent theoretical and practical training courses offered by Saint-Gobain Weber at their Bedfordshire headquarters,” says Mr Serban. “With our combined application knowledge and Ian’s experience we wanted to make this project a real showcase.  We are confident it will attract more domestic EWI projects now that homeowners are able to reap the benefits of the Government’s Green Deal initiative.

“Saint-Gobain Weber proactively works towards providing the best and most informative EWI training courses and this was positively reflected through the professionalism of the training instructor. My team really benefited from the information and practical experience.”

In the application of the weber.therm XM EWI system, 90mm of graphite-enhanced expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation panels were carefully and mechanically fixed to the original Victorian brickwork substrate by Costin Serban’s application team. This was followed with an initial coat of weber.rend LAC, meshcloth reinforcement, and a second layer of weber.rend LAC, a cement-based render mortar. The final decorative finish of weber.sil P, a high performance textured synthetic paint, provides a low maintenance decorative finish.

Ian says: “I had no reservation about using render-finished EWI over the solid brickwork elevations because there are adjoining rendered precedents and the new elevational treatment now actually fits into the streetscape better than the original, also planning permission was not required under the current permitted development rules.

“The weber.therm XM EWI system was an easy choice for me having used it extensively and successfully in Wates projects.  Costin’s team did a comprehensive and excellent job in very quick time, just 17 days, including boiler and services modifications, roof works and bespoke encasements  to soil and waste pipes.  I am delighted with the end product and looking forward to a much warmer Winter this year!”

For more information about this project, or for technical support, please contact Saint-Gobain Weber on 08703 330 070, or visit  Customers in Ireland should call 028 9335 2999, or visit  A free download of the new for iPhone and iPad users is also available from iTunes and from Google Play for Android smartphones and tablet users.  Follow Saint-Gobain Weber on Twitter @SGWeberUK for the latest company news and updates.

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