INCA Case Study: Glasgow Green West Boathouse


Glasgow Green West Boathouse

Project Type: Refurbishment

Building Type: Low Rise, Non-Residential

Architect: ARPL Architects

System Designer: Structherm Ltd

Installer: WH Kirkwood Ltd

System & Finish: Structherm SEWI + Struc- Sil & Stone Coat

U-value Achieved: 0.3 W/m2k

Background to the project

Built in 1905, the Glasgow Green West Boathouse is an impressive timber frame building, designated as a Category B listed structure. It holds a prominent status among similar structures in Britain, boasting a prime location on the banks of the River Clyde within Glasgow Green, perfectly suited for rowing activities.

The building’s construction features a robust oak timber frame. However, over time, it has been plagued by significant issues of wet and dry rot, leading to the deterioration of the timber and causing the render to spall.

To address these challenges and revitalize the boathouse, a remarkable effort was made with the help of various funding sources. Generous grants and donations totalling approximately £1,760,000 were secured, substantially contributing to the repair and redevelopment of the project.

Thanks to this financial support, the client successfully restored and upgraded the boathouse. The renovations included enhancing its thermal efficiency, making it more accessible, and upgrading the facilities within the building. The result was the creation of flexible, multi-use spaces that now cater to the needs of the local community.

Additionally, a new pontoon was designed and implemented to improve accessibility for rowers, ensuring easier access to the river for their activities. The Glasgow Green West Boathouse has been lovingly revitalized, preserving its historical significance while serving as a vibrant hub for the community’s recreational and rowing pursuits.

​Solution & Specification

As part of the rejuvenation program, Structherm’s Structural External Wall Insulation system was carefully chosen, alongside new windows, doors, roof, and rainwater goods. Before commencing any work, the exterior wall build-up consisting of 50mm block work, lath, and render was stripped back to the timber frame. This step allowed for essential repairs to be made to the pile foundations and rotten timbers.

To ensure the stability of the oak frame, Structherm’s Structural External Wall Insulation panels were expertly installed, spanning between the timber frames, to improve stability. This provided valuable support to the building, enhancing its structural integrity.

As the building is a Category B listed property, certain existing features had to be preserved, including the quoins and dragon head balconies. Structherm played a crucial role in this aspect by specifying a particular architectural moulding system. This innovative system incorporates lightweight detailing’s that faithfully replicate the appearance of the existing quoins, string course, and plinth.

To give the building a clean and rejuvenated appearance, the system was finished with a durable silicone coating.

Moreover, the existing dragon head supports had suffered from severe rot. In response, new carved heads were skilfully prepared and securely fixed onto the sound timbers, allowing for the installation of a new balcony.

Through these meticulous efforts and careful preservation of historical features, Structherm has completed a transformation that not only enhances its visual appeal but also ensures the long-term stability and beauty of this remarkable Category B listed building.

The End Result

With the U-value significantly reduced to 0.31W/m2K, the building now offers rowers a comfortable temperature and boasts a newly reinforced, structurally stable frame, all whilst maintaining the architectural beauty of the building. Thermal efficiency has been radically improved too, saving energy and reducing carbon emissions.

Thanks to the unwavering support from Clyde ARC volunteers, the project is set to bring about numerous benefits to the local community in the months and years to come.

The refurbishment has breathed new life into the Category B listed building, a building that was previously derelict, transforming it into a valuable asset for the rowing community. Its stunning appearance along the banks of the River Clyde has undergone a significant and impressive transformation.

Structherm’s Structural External Wall Insulation presents a cost-effective and efficient solution for both thermal and aesthetic enhancements of the timber-framed building. By adopting this method, the West Boathouse’s design life has been extended considerably, all thanks to the experience, knowledge and expertise of Structherm.

The refurbishment has breathed new life into the Category B listed building, a building that was previously derelict, transforming it into a valuable asset for the rowing community.


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