The Insulated Render and Cladding Association (INCA) Awards 2018, which showcase exceptional projects and special achievements in external wall insulation (EWI), are open for entries. The INCA Awards celebrate accomplishments in technical standards, energy efficiency, carbon reduction and tackling fuel poverty through cutting-edge EWI.

INCA is excited to announce two new awards for 2018. The Heritage Award will recognise projects that have stood the test of time, to promote the benefits of installing EWI as a long-term solution. Also being introduced is the Component Supplier of the Year Award. Voted for by Systems Designers, this recognises the important contribution that component suppliers make in EWI.

There are two main project categories, New Build and Refurbishment. Regardless of the project, from high-rise and low-rise to residential or zoological, there are plenty of opportunities to enter. Other categories include awards for Installer of the Year, Innovation, Training and Outstanding Achievement.

Winners will be selected by an independent judging panel of leading industry experts who assess projects on thermal performance, technical difficulty, aesthetics and workmanship. They will be looking for individuals and companies that have proven outstanding ability.

INCA Executive Chairman Mitch Gee, said “I am particularly excited about the Awards in 2018 with the introduction of our Heritage category, which will help promote the long-term durability and benefits of external wall insulation. Those who have been in the industry for 10 years or more should be able to point us to some projects which demonstrate the exceptional track record our products and services have.”

INCA may sub-divide projects in the New Build and Refurbishment categories, according to the number of entries received. The closing date for entries is Friday 13 April at 5:00pm.

For more information please visit

External Wall Insulation by Saint-Gobain Weber has been specified for the thermal upgrade of social housing properties in Bangor and Y Bala, North Wales. They have been transformed with the application of the innovative webertherm XP External Wall Insulation (EWI) with u-values that have been dramatically reduced while the aesthetics of the properties have been changed completely. Residents are praising these improvements, one reporting that their heating thermostat has been turned down to half its normal setting.

The properties, a combination of houses, bungalows and apartment buildings, are owned by Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd, the largest housing association in North Wales. CCG was set up in 2010 to provide good quality, affordable homes and services, as an independent not-for-profit organisation which is registered and regulated by the Welsh Government. CCG has around 6,300 homes and is responsible for their maintenance and management.

Achieving Welsh Housing Quality Standard, in which social landlords are required to improve, meet and maintain their housing stock to an acceptable level before, or no later than, 2020 is an important part of CCG’s work. A total of £136million has been committed to improving homes to meet the needs of existing and future residents since the organisation’s inception.

The houses in Britannia Square, Bangor, are post-war, system-built, non-traditional Unity Structures designed with storey-level precast reinforced panels, metal braced from within the cavity, and poorly insulated offering little thermal performance. In Y Bala the homes are of 1960s non-trad Trusteel frame construction with similar thermal deficiencies. While upgrading properties, Weber’s EWI extends the life of existing buildings, particularly hard-to-treat properties, by keeping the old structure warm and stable.

CCG awarded the main contract to Willmott Dixon’s Conway office who in turn appointed specialist EWI contractor R W Hough & Sons of Flintshire to apply the BBA certificated webertherm XP EWI system with webertherm M1 render. Martin Hough rates the Weber system highly: “The webertherm XP system is a very good product. We have experienced no problems at all with these materials that offer speed and simplicity while protecting tired facades and minimising heat loss.”

Challenging u-value improvements for Britannia and Bala homes were calculated by Weber: properties at Britannia Square, Bangor were slashed from 1.42W/m²K down to 0.28W/m²K whilst an even more dramatic result at Y Bala saw the poor 1.60W/m²K pre-installation U-value reduced to 0.29W/m²K.

To achieve these tough target U-values the webertherm XP EWI system required 90mm of EPS insulation which was mechanically fixed to the external wall surfaces prior to the render application. The Britannia Square properties had an angled corner coin feature and the client required this to be altered to a normal square edge corner profile for a more modern look. R W Hough masked this original feature with an extension of the EPS insulation prior to render application.

The revolutionary webertherm M1 render is a through-coloured, factory-batched, lightweight mineral render formulated for one-coat application. The system was applied with a combination of pump delivery and skilled hand application. The first pass of render is applied at 6mm and the meshcloth laid-in and, as the render takes up, a second 6mm application is made to deliver a total of 12mm of render for durable, low maintenance protection. CCG specified a dash finish to match other properties in the region and Ashton Cream was selected from an extensive colour palette. Over 4336m² of EWI have been applied at these two locations.

Geraint Jones, project manager for R W Hough during the six month program, reports on the success of the project: “Everyone is really pleased with the results here. We had good weather right through the program. The webertherm XP system requires such a straight forward application process and my team are always pleased to be using Weber high quality products.

“The properties now look clean, modern and rejuvenated and already the residents are commenting on the radical change in warmth. I’m sure they will also notice that the internal noise level is also reduced. One resident has told me that their thermostat is now set at half the usual level and they have plenty of heat and are very comfortable. This will mean considerable savings in energy costs.” Gary O’Brien, Assets and Contracts manager, CCG, said: “We are very pleased with the product and the assistance with specification and supervision provided by Saint-Gobain Weber. We look forward to continuing our good working relationship with the company.”

For more information about this project, or for technical support, please contact Saint-Gobain Weber on 08703 330 070, or visit Customers in Ireland should call 028 9335 2999 or visit
A free download of the new for iPhone and iPad users is also available from iTunes and from Google Play for Android smartphones and tablet users. Follow Saint-Gobain Weber on Twitter @SGWeberUK for the latest company news and updates.

weber.therm XM External Wall Insulation ( EWI) has been installed on a two-storey end of terrace, privately owned property in the Brislington area of Bristol. This is just one of several upgrades being undertaken by the homeowner which have included the addition of a large extension to the side of the property; a loft conversion; the addition of a garden room to the rear and new windows and doors throughout.

“We bought this 1960s property knowing that a substantial makeover was needed and being in the construction business I could see the potential and have managed a lot of the work myself,” says Mark Holden, property owner. “The property was unattractive, even ugly, with hard to treat solid walls, and it was cold. We wanted a more attractive home and greater comfort for our young family.”

The application of BBA accredited and Energy Saving Trust listed weber.therm XM EWI was carried out by M P Plastering Limited, Somerset, renowned for excellent render application skills and experienced with use of the weber.therm EWI systems. The couple sought Green Deal funding with the help of M P Plastering, a Green Deal certified applicator, and successfully achieved a 75% contribution toward the £9,000 cost of the EWI project.

“The Green Deal funding was surprisingly easy to achieve,” says Mark Pickthall, M P Plastering, “which is just as well considering how cold the house was and that there was a young family to keep warm. The property looks completely different now with the application of Weber’s EWI system. We like everything about Weber from start to finish. Great representation, excellent technical support, industry-leading warranties and products that are consistently reliable.”

The weber.therm XM EWI system used on this property included 90mm thick expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation which was mechanically fixed to the outer skin of the wall substrate. The render process requires two passes of weber.rend LAC, a cementitious render into which the fibreglass reinforcement meshcloth is embedded to give a robust render coat. When dry the surface is primed with weber PR310 in preparation for a 1.5mm thin coat decorative finish of weber.plast TF, an acrylic based, pre-mixed, textured finish, in Winter White. The porch has been finished in weber.pral M one-coat, through-coloured monocouche render in Chalk. weber.therm XM EWI is capable of substantially improving the U-value of a property in a retrofit project, and produces exceptional levels of energy efficiency on new builds.

“Where I had made additions and re-modelled the internal space the external walls were in an awful state. And from an aesthetics angle, it was great to cover the whole exterior with EWI. We can no longer see the scars and joints,” continues Mark. “Work started at the coldest time of year in November 2014, but within weeks we were feeling the benefit of the EWI. During a particularly cold spell we found there was no need to switch the heating back on after the timer programme had lapsed each morning which would have been necessary previously.” By February the property was fully wrapped and rendered.

“The massive visual improvement to our home is quite amazing,” says Mark, “but the saving we have made on our monthly fuel outlay is incredible. From an average of £150 per month during the winter months we are now paying around £80 a month, that’s a very big saving for a family.”

“We have carried out many projects on this property and my wife and I agree the EWI application has been by far the most successful element of our plans.”

Weber products are manufactured from carefully selected raw materials at purpose-built facilities in Bedfordshire, Shropshire and Ireland where quality and consistency is achieved.
For more information about this project, or for technical support, please contact Saint-Gobain Weber on 08703 330 070, or visit Customers in Ireland should call 028 9335 2999 or visit

A free download of the new for iPhone and iPad users is also available from iTunes and from Google Play for Android smartphones and tablet users. Follow Saint-Gobain Weber on Twitter @SGWeberUK for the latest company news and updates.

Technical Editor, Bruce Meechan hears from Ged Ferris of Cembrit about the wide selection of board products the manufacturer can offer for internal and external construction applications.

The term one-stop-shop may be over used in the UK building products supply chain, but the range of boards offered by long-established manufacturer, Cembrit can provide specifiers with solutions to every sort of challenge from interior refurbishment and the creation of wet rooms within social housing units, to some of the most daunting logistical demands faced by burgeoning offsite or MMC sector.

The majority of the board options offer not just excellent physical characteristics, but a strong lineage and a long track record of service, both here and on the Continent.
As UK Marketing Manager, Ged Ferris, commented during our interview: “We have the product range to facilitate the needs of everyone from offsite system fabricators to refurbishment specialists and the growing self-build market.

Not just a Five-star range, but a range with five main stars and many product variations: Cembrit’s flat boards encompass all the key performance parameters including moisture resistance, fire resistance and structural strength, as well as providing a versatile substrate for commonly used finishes.

THE RANGE General purpose and specialist requirements solved by Cembrit’s boards

The product within the range which has shown the most rapid growth across the market is PB: a versatile tile backer or render backer board, mainly being used for the refurbishment of bathrooms, it is popular due to its low weight and ease of cutting which facilitates installation, and the robust long term performance. Cembrit has developed a version called Flex which can be fixed down to radii of just 150 mm. Both conventional PB and Flex features polystyrene spherules and an edge reinforcement detail that uses a special fabric allowing butt jointing and fixings close to edges for maximum rigidity. Flex installations might then form a column casing that would be rendered over or covered with a small format mosaic.

Where social housing providers are seeking to fit out full wet rooms for those who might need assistance with personal care, then there is also a Special Performance board which was originally developed for use in places like swimming pools.

The biggest seller still, though in terms of volume is Cempanel which is primarily specified for dry-lining and sheathing: the internal skin to a rainscreen cladding build up. Depending on dimensions, Cempanel can also take racking loads: being produced in thicknesses of 8, 10, 12 and 16 mm. It is also often used as a render carrier in exterior applications.

The FR board can provide up to 120 minutes of fire resistance and is widely specified for soffits in corridors, lift lobbies and other communal areas to buildings where the consideration of escape routes and combating the surface spread of flame are essential.

Ged Ferris added: “We see our board range as being of particular value to manufacturers of modules, pods, timber frame panel systems and other prefabricated solutions. They could even form the face to SIPs (Structural Insulated Panel) systems.

“As well as the merchant stockist, clients can also purchase through ‘optimizers’ – board cutting specialists who supply the exact sizes they need to make our standard product coordinate with elevation widths, window openings and things like flues or other service penetrations. It will also be a real advantage to customers that such a comprehensive selection is available from a single source.”

Responding to market demand, Cembrit is also making its cladding boards available as BIM objects in partnership with its Scandinavian parent company. These can be viewed via the company’s website at or by contacting the company’s technical advisory service via email.