A unique residential Pocket Living development recently completed in Barking features highly effective thermal performance and an attractive appearance thanks to an integrated package of insulation and exterior façade products provided by Sto. The company’s StoTherm Mineral external wall insulation system, with Sto-Rotofix Plus fixings and Sto Resin Brick Slip façade finish, have all been installed on this town-centre project at Whiting Avenue.
The development includes a pair of residential blocks, which are predominantly four-storey, but which rise to six floors at the centre of the site. These were built using off-site prefabrication methods in order to reduce disruption to the surrounding area during construction. “When it came to thermal performance, we wanted an insulation solution that would be non-combustible and compatible with the off-site approach,” comments Matt Watts of Reed Watts architects. “The quality of the system was also critical as the building had to meet a wide range of performance criteria, and the StoTherm Mineral external wall insulation system was able to satisfy this.
“We worked with Sto to refine the texture and colour of the bricks. From a visual perspective this allowed us to tie in the development with neighbouring buildings, including an adjacent Victorian waterworks.” The BBA-certified StoTherm Mineral external wall insulation system incorporates extremely durable mineral-fibre boards which provide both outstanding thermal insulation and unrivalled fire protection. The boards are protected by a reinforcing mesh which increases their resistance to impact damage.
“We installed these using the Sto-Rotofix Plus fixings,” adds Steve Beale of Sto authorized installation specialist, Alpine Finishing. “The off-site nature of the buildings’ construction meant that the boards were applied to a secondary lightweight steel frame, and the Rotofix system was perfectly suited to the task.” These unique Sto spiral fixings are compatible with many different types of substrate and can be adjusted after installation to accommodate any unevenness. This allows the insulation boards to be installed without the need for additional expansion joints, and to create a smooth and even exterior surface ready for finishing.
The Sto resin brick slips used on this project are manufactured from synthetic render, and so provide durable, weatherproof protection against the elements, with a simulated but realistic brick appearance. Designed to be fully compatible with Sto external wall insulation systems these lightweight, vapour permeable brick slips offer the architect a virtually unlimited range of design, size and colour options, and are an approved finish in a BBA certificate, as a result of thorough R&D testing.
The development has been designed around the Pocket Living concept and now provides 78 affordable one-bedroom flats intended for local, first-time buyers. It incorporates secluded courtyard gardens for residents, an allotment area and other outdoor social spaces. It also features a shared home-working space for use by the residents.