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In the London Borough of Camden, external wall insulation (EWI) by Saint-Gobain Weber was specified for the thermal upgrade and aesthetic refurbishment of hard-to-treat apartment blocks built in the early-1900s.

The selected properties, namely St Margaret’s House, St Joan’s House and St Martin’s House, are owned and managed by Origin Housing who provide essential affordable housing in north London and Hertfordshire.  Principle contractor Climate Energy Limited, who awarded the installation of the EWI to Aspiration Energy, a specialist in renewable energy and thermal retrofit projects based in Diss, Norfolk, has worked closely with Origin Housing and Saint-Gobain Weber to provide the upgrade programme and achieve funding.

The apartment blocks, close to Euston railway station, London NW1, are of solid wall construction and built mainly with original London Red brick.  Situated in a conservation area, planners were keen to restore the original appearance of the buildings while being sympathetic to the need to improve the thermal performance of the properties and the living conditions of their tenants. The planners had dismissed other brick-effect products before accepting the weber.therm XB system which includes authentic brick slips that are created by cutting the face of an actual clay brick to create a 12-13mm brick slip.

weber.therm XB EWI system is a high performance EWI system providing efficient thermal insulation for both refurbishment and new build projects.  It extends the life of existing buildings by keeping the old structure warm and stable while rejuvenating tired façades. 

Tim Hayton, head of asset management, Origin Housing, comments: “The project has progressed well and we are incredibly impressed with the work done to replicate the historic feel to the exterior of the buildings. We look forward to the impact the works will have in reducing the cost of our resident’s heating throughout the colder months whilst decreasing our impact on the environment as an organisation.” U-values calculated by Saint-Gobain Weber show a pre-installation U-value of 2.13 W/m²K which has been dramatically improved to a comfortable 0.30 W/m²K.

Weber specified 110mm thickness of expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation which was mechanically fixed to the sound masonry substrate.  weber.rend EXB adhesive mortar, which offers the practical benefits of smooth application, speed and economy, is applied to form a bedding for the brick slips.  These are supported with spacers that provide the correct gap for pointing with weber.rend BPM using an appropriate pointing gun.  Brick slips are available in a wide range of colours and textures which allows aesthetic coordination with neighbouring properties.

On the St Margaret’s block natural brick slips in Antique Red were chosen from the Weber range and placed to form a Flemish bond laying pattern.  On the St Joan’s building brick slips in Soft Red were applied in Old English bond and soldier courses above window and door openings were authentically replicated.  Work is still due to commence on St Martin’s house which will be externally insulated on the walls, and internally insulated in the roof space; single glazed timber windows will also be replaced.  For speed of application and economy the rear facade of the of St Margaret’s building has been refurbished with weber.therm XM EWI  and finished with high performance, low maintenance and durable weber.plast TF in Willow. 

This bespoke solution was delivered over a seven month programme.  The project was initially Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funded to deliver a carbon saving scheme while reducing energy bills and improving the living standards of tenants and leaseholders.  A new funding channel was established with Climate Energy acting as principle funding manager in March 2014 when ECO funding was withdrawn.  The programme has been completed under the Green Deal (GD) Cashback Scheme.

Kenneth Gunner, site manager, Aspiration Energy, says: “A great deal of effort and skill has gone into producing a very satisfactory project and we are delighted with the outcome.  The buildings look clean and tidy and the tenants comment that they feel warm and comfortable.  Aesthetically the buildings look attractive and the selected brick finishes harmonise with the other newer neighbouring buildings.”

Other streetscapes in Origin Housing’s area, which includes Ian Hamilton House, Edith Neville Cottages and Brereton Cottages, have also been rejuvenated and completely transformed with the use of weber.therm EWI.

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
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