Alutec’s aluminium rainwater systems have been installed on a landmark new housing project developed by Wienerberger, the leading provider of wall, roof and landscaping innovations. The Wienerberger e4 brick house™ at the BRE Innovation Park has been designed to be a future archetype for sustainable and affordable housing in the UK.

Designed in conjunction with global engineering and design consultancy ARUP, the e4 brick house™ is based around four fundamental principles of energy, economy, environment and emotion. Designed using Building Information Modelling (BIM), the Wienerberger e4 brick house™ has a build time of just 12 weeks, which is around half that of standard housing, and has the flexibility to work just as effectively through shared ownership as it would for a privately-owned home.

Central to the project’s ethos is the use of market leading building products and solutions that offer excellent sustainability credentials as well as high levels of performance. Specified for the coping, fascia and soffit system was Alutec’s Evoke range in RAL7016 Anthracite Grey. Made from highly durable composite aluminium, the Evoke range has a life expectancy of 50 years or more and features a unique nano self-cleaning coat resulting in minimal maintenance requirements.

Also specified was Alutec’s Evolve Half Round guttering and downpipes in the same colour. The Evolve product range is manufactured from marine grade aluminium and as this high quality material is so impervious to corrosion, it provides the same 50-year life expectancy as the coping, fascia and soffit. In addition, aluminium is also extremely light – up to 65 per cent lighter than cast iron alternatives – making it much safer to handle on site and quicker to install.

Paul Surin, Head of Built Environment at Wienerberger, commented: “The Wienerberger e4 brick house represents a significant step forward in the progression of UK housing and offers an accessible model that can be implemented now. Choosing the right materials was therefore crucial in achieving a build that met the strict requirements the future industry will demand and that we set for ourselves.

“Alutec’s products were a perfect fit in this respect as their longevity, sustainability and low maintenance requirements meant we could deliver not only the type of building we wanted to but the intended lifestyle for the future residents as well.

Importantly, Alutec’s products are available as BIM components which meant they could be seamlessly integrated into the design and allowed us to meet the tight deadlines we had set ourselves for the build of this project.”

Alutec has the most comprehensive BIM portfolio of components of any rainwater product manufacturer and has an experienced technical team that can assist with bespoke design and project management. What’s more, Alutec’s products installed on the Wienerberger e4 brick house are full recyclable at the end of their extended life span, making them some of the most sustainable products available in the UK.

Designed to achieve standards such as the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 without renewables, 2016 Part L and complying with Lifetime Homes and the London Housing Design Guide, the Wienerberger e4 brick house provides a real solution to the current housing crisis.

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Swish Building Products has been named roofline and rainwater supplier for a rolling refurbishment programme by ALMO, Your Homes Newcastle (YHN). Supplied and installed by Swish Approved Installer JDP Contracting Services, the Swish roofline and rainwater systems will be installed on around 500 homes per year.

YHN demanded an ‘equal or approved’ product in response to its performance specification. The contractor selected the products which best fitted the criteria. “We are very happy with the Swish products and have recently started using the Sustainable Rainwater range which contains a high percentage of recycled content,” commented Tom Jarman, environmental sustainability coordinator, property services for YHN. “In using this particular range of products we are able to fulfil our environmental commitments. Also we are now starting to replace older PVC-U products so in buying rainwater goods with recycled content we are helping to ‘close the loop’ when the waste items are taken away.”

Swish’s Sustainable Rainwater products contain up to 84% recycled content, a combination of old windows and guttering systems. This can save up to 70% in CO2 output during the production process when compared to 100% virgin material. The products are two-tone; the recycled material is grey and is co-extruded with an outer skin of virgin material, avoiding the unnecessary use of additional colouring agents. Co-extrusion improves the aesthetics of the product and allows installers to achieve a colour match.

The use of the Gateshead-based collection depot meant that the product choice also supported local employment, an important factor in meeting the ALMO’s social responsibilities.

YHN reached Decent Homes Standard in 2012 so now all its work is lifecycle replacement. The roofline and rainwater products are being installed in conjunction with its rolling re-roofing programme, replacing timber and asbestos cement products. “The reason behind the replacement was maintenance,” continues Tom. “We wanted to cut right back on the level of painting required; in doing so we would not only withdraw the cost from the maintenance programme but also reduce the overheads associated with it, scaffolding for example. Swish’s PVC-U products have allowed us to achieve this.”

Swish roofline and rainwater products have been fitted on 300 YHN homes with a further 230 currently underway. The refurbishment of 300 more homes is planned for the remainder of 2015 as part of an ongoing schedule of works.

YHN manages council houses on behalf of Newcastle City Council. Established in 2004 with the specific target of meeting Decent Homes Standard, the ALMO now manages around 30,000 properties. One of its main objectives is to ‘make the money deliver’, the use of low maintenance products like those available from Swish Building Products go some way in helping to achieve this.

For more information on Swish Building Products’ full range of rainwater, roofline and cladding products visit or call 01827 317 200.