Built in the early 1960’s, Douglas House is an eleven storey tower block sitting on the northern banks of the River Douglas close to Wigan town centre.
The block was in dire need of renovation and Wigan & Leigh Housing Association brought together a group of tenant representatives to be involved in all aspects of the renovation including contractor selection process. After interrogation of the tendering contractors on their commitment to customer care and resident liaison, the work was appointed to Seddon Construction Limited who listened to the residents concerns of having scaffolding erected around the block for a long period of time and assured the residents that a new method of working would be employed using motorised working platforms to avoid completely enveloping the block whilst facilitating the external works.
A Wetherby Insulated Render System using 50mm phenolic insulation was specified for the project however, some years ago the no fines panels had been insulated using a metal caged render system and prior to installation of the Wetherby system a specialist from Ejot was called to site to carry out pull out tests to ascertain the correct type of mechanical fixings that could be used to ensure the insulation was securely fixed to the substrate.
Once the correct size of fixing was established the phenolic insulation was mechanically fixed to the substrate followed by a basecoat and reinforcing mesh. Wetherby Silicone 1.5mm ‘K’ render in shades of Blue, Grey and Portland Stone was applied to encapsulate the insulation which with its weatherproofing properties would protect the building for years to come whilst giving the block a stunning aesthetic appearance.
NPS Stockport created a visually appealing look for the tower by breaking the large flat facades of new render with vertical strikes of light blue, with the remaining areas in a neutral backdrop of Portland Stone. To avoid losing the tower to its background and to enhance the stepped footprint of the design, the existing gable reveals were utilised to create a dark grey edge which was also repeated at roof level to create a visual frame to the tower.
Wetherby brick slips in Laguna, with a feature band of Staffordshire Blue, were applied to the ground floor areas to help protect from potential foot traffic impact and to compliment the local housing.
The reduction of the u-value from 2.1W/m²K to 0.35W/m²K will help the residents to keep their heating bills to a minimum which in turn will assist with the reduction of carbon emissions into the environment.