Steppingstones: Helsby, Cheshire

Built within a green belt area of Cheshire in an ‘Area of Special County Value’, planning permission was especially tight on this new build development.  The brief for the new home was the development of a spacious (in excess of 15,000 square feet) family home, however planners decreed that the visible parts of any new property had to match the footprint of the original Hillside Cottage. Runcorn based design and construction company, RJ Lewis Projects were called in to provide a suitable solution and came up with the design for this largely underground building.

The design based the visible area of the building on the dimensions of the old cottage that it replaced.  The elements of the new home above ground were also broken up into smaller sections to reduce the overall visual impact and the roof covered by a traditional lawn so that it blended into the hillside. Due to the unusual construction various building techniques needed to be used i.e. timber frame, blockwork and concrete and a weatherproof envelope that could be used with each of these building techniques needed to be found. That’s when a Wetherby Insulated Render System was specified.

Phenolic insulation in thicknesses ranging from 60mm to 120mm was mechanically fixed to the various substrates, followed by a Wetherby Basecoat, into which a strengthening layer of Wetherby Alkali Resistant Mesh was bedded and left to dry. A further tight layer of Wetherby Basecoat was applied to fully cover the mesh, trowelled smoothed and left to dry completely. The whole of the property was then encapsulated in a layer of Wetherby Silicone 1.5mm ‘K’ Render which not only gave the brilliant white finish required for the property, but its waterproof, self cleaning properties will ensure that this pristine finish will last for years to come.

Finished U-value 0.30W/m²K.

Project Type

Residential New Build


Mr S O’Connor

System Installer

Skyline Construction Limited


RJ Lewis Projects