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Dorlonco Refurb in High Wycombe

Red Kite Community Housing has recently embarked on a programme to upgrade its housing stock of non-traditional properties in Bank Street, High Wycombe. This programme was set to deliver external wall insulation to 35 Dorlonco properties with the help of Wetherby’s EpsiTherm Insulation and EpsiBrick-7 Brick Slip System.

Non-traditional Dorlonco properties originate from the 1920’s and were considered to be the most successful of their time. This post WW1 style housing was built with a steel frame concealed within the structure giving the impression that they were extremely solidly built. The steel frame was designed to accept a number of different claddings from conventional brick to render on a metal lath. However, over time, defects in this type of construction were discovered and as a result this particular development had suffered from corrosion throughout the steel framework particularly at the bases as well as the wall ties.

Like so many homes of that era, which are still standing, thermal efficiency is also in desperate need of improvement to bring them in line not only with current regulations but to sustain the local communities, improving tenant’s quality of living and reducing the need for potential demolition.

Red Kite awarded the main contract to Keepmoat who carried out the refurbishment in collaboration with Wetherby installers, Concordia Construction.

Appropriate repairs and replacements were initially carried out to rectify the corrosion of the steel structures which has enabled each property to receive a new lifetime guarantee.

Once complete, Wetherby’s EpsiTherm insulation could be applied along with the EpsiBrick-7 brick slip system. The EpsiTherm insulation comprises of expanded beads of polystyrene that incorporate a graphite component, which are then fused together in a pressurised steam-heated mould. The inclusion of graphite ensures the product offers enhanced thermal performance and, when using a thickness of 90mm as used in this development, Enhanced EPS can meet the required u-values with minimal disruption to the external envelope making it the ideal cost-effective insulation method. The system was then completed with our EpsiBrick-7 brick slip system. This was chosen as it is a simple solution that is able to achieve a genuine brick finish, keeping the properties in line with the original and surrounding community whilst significantly reducing the installation time and costs.

On completion of the project the U-values have dramatically reduced from 2.13w/m²K to an impressive 0.30w/m²K meeting current building regulation requirements and meaning the residents will benefit from warmer, weather resistant homes.

The aesthetic appearance of the properties has been a great success, replicating the original finishes and complimenting the neighbouring community leaving the residents delighted with the results.

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