Located in a suburban area of Nottingham, the property is a 1930s three bedroom detached house. Typical of the era, it is a solid wall brick structure. The homeowners experienced all the common problems associated with houses of this age and construction, namely deteriorating external condition, damp penetration, severe cold and condensation in the winter. The house had no wall insulation and was costly to heat as a large proportion of the heat escaped through the walls. The owners decided that something had to be done to improve the comfort conditions of their home. Having researched the different external wall insulation systems available, the owners decided to use brick slip cladding rather than insulated render as a brick finish was in keeping with the local area. They decided that Eurobrick’s X-Clad system was an obvious choice for the property as not only does it achieve energy savings of up to 30%, but will also solve damp and condensation problems and rejuvenate the exterior of the property.
Brick slip cladding has been available in the UK for over twenty years. It is now a well-established and growing sector as its numerous benefits are being more widely recognised. Eurobrick was the first company to introduce an insulated brick cladding system to Europe in 1991, since then the company has become a leading supplier to the commercial, house building and public sector markets.
Eurobrick’s X-Clad system is a tried and tested external wall insulation cladding. It has third party product certification from the British Board of Agrément (BBA). X-Clad comprises insulating backer panel with a horizontal rib profile that ensures brick courses are correctly aligned. The panel is mechanically fixed to the outer walls of the property and the brick slips are glued between the horizontal ribs. The installation is then completed using pointing mortar, which is piped into the joints before being struck to achieve a finish indistinguishable from traditional brickwork.
The green credentials of X-clad are well established. It is a highly versatile cladding system with up to 100mm of insulation available. The insulation foam is closed cell extruded polystyrene, which offers a better weather and waterproof finish than some insulation solutions. The polystyrene used in Eurobrick’s backer panels has a certified BRE Green Guide Rating of A, the most environmentally friendly currently available.
Kestral Building Services of Burton on Trent, who have been an approved installer of Eurobrick’s systems for fifteen years, carried out the installation work. This project saw 75mm of the insulated backer panel being installed to the majority of the property’s exterior. Due to space restrictions, 50mm thick panel was installed on the front elevation. The porch, being an open structure, did not require insulation and therefore the thinnest 17mm panel was used in this area.
The brick slips were Rustic Red Charcoal multi with a detail band of Smooth Anthracite, both chosen from Eurobrick’s Britannia Range. The brickwork was pointed using a mid grey mortar. Eurobrick supplies a wide range of manufactured brick slips, which are much thinner than traditional brick. This saving in width and weight means that around 60-70 per cent less energy is consumed during the firing process in the kiln.
The addition of 75mm of insulation on the exterior of the property with no cold bridging has helped to lower the owners’ energy bills, as less internal heat is lost through the buildings outer walls.
In addition to making the property more energy efficient, the new brick slips transformed the appearance of the aging exterior. The homeowners also get the added bonus of an extremely low maintenance cladding system which will look as good in twenty or thirty years as it does now. The homeowners are thrilled with end result; Richard Moore said:
“It looks like our house, only better”.
The increased insulation will also provide a healthier living environment for the occupants. Solid wall houses commonly suffer from damp and condensation problems, which may exacerbate existing health problems for some owners. The X-Clad system helps to keep the interior of a property dry, which can alleviate these issues.
Commenting on the results of the building work, homeowner Gemma Moore said:
“I am delighted with the whole process. Eurobrick were really helpful and because it’s fitted to the outside, we were able to continue living in the house normally. Not only has cladding improved our home’s energy efficiency, but it looks fantastic, we’re so pleased that we’ve had it done.
“There has been a considerably drier atmosphere within the house. Areas of damp, condensation and even my asthma have been so much better since the work was finished.”
Rich Moore added:
“We have received our first utility bill through since the work was completed and were extremely happy to see a 30 per cent reduction in heating. It really shows that the system works. Following a recent valuation of the house we’re also confident that the whole process has added value to the property too as it has much more kerb appeal.
“When we looked at all the different ways to lower our bills, brick slip cladding wasn’t the first thing that came to mind. But looking at our house now, I wouldn’t change anything, the number of benefits vastly outweighs any of the benefits of other green products we looked at.”
For more information on X-Clad and other products from Eurobrick, please visit www.eurobrick.co.uk