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Albion Hill, Brighton

This 12 x storey residential block owned by Brighton & Hove Council is the first of seven due to be completed at Albion Hill in the Hanover district of Brighton. The existing blocks are brick construction but uninsulated and with failing mortar joints. The client’s objective upon embarking on the project was to provide insulation to the block, make good the structural failings and lift the building’s appearance in keeping with surrounding buildings, including the other blocks prior to their renovation.

Working with pod Partnerships architects and Mears Group as the main contractors, Alsecco were selected as the external wall insulation system designer. Ecomin 400 provided an ideal system build-up for the block which incorporated Alsecco’s own Meldorfer lightweight flat-facing brick slips for the majority of the tower, with clay brick slips selected for the ground floor. These two finishes both fell within Alsecco’s BBA certificate for the Ecomin 400 system and the client and main contractor were both assured with the windloading performance of the system on what is an exposed location within a few miles of the seafront.

As the failing mortar joints were considered to be unviable for repair for a block which was being overclad, the outer skin of brickwork to the front face of the building was removed and replaced with SFS infill panels between each floor and the Ecomin 400 was fixed directly to a suitable 12mm sheathing board.

Alsecco worked alongside the installation teams throughout the installation process and regular inspections ensured that the works were carried out in accordance with the specification and any minor details were solved as the work proceeded. The Meldorfer brick slips were matched against the existing bricks on adjoining blocks giving the finished appearance of a fresh brick façade with crisp mortar joints. On the ground floor, a contrasting clay brick slip colour adds visual detail to the entrance and foyer areas.

The 0.26 W/m2k will ensure that residents are more comfortable and heating bills lowered significantly and the A2-s1, d0 fire classification guards against fire risk. It provides a safe and visually effective template for the other blocks waiting to be completed.