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INCA Case Study: Keswick Pencil Factory Ministries Headquarters


Keswick Pencil Factory

Project Type: Refurbishment

Building Type: Low Rise, Non-Residential

Architect: Thomas Armstrong

System Designer: Sto Ltd

Installer: Eco Rend North East

System & Finish: StoTherm Mineral system, StoSilco silicone resin render

U-value Achieved: N/A

An historic landmark building in the picturesque Lake District has been given a new lease of life with the installation of StoTherm Mineral K external wall insulation and StoSilco finishing render. Originally built in 1937, the building in Keswick housed the UK’s first pencil factory, but now provides a new headquarters and site for the Keswick Convention, for the Keswick Ministries organization.

After being used by the Cumberland Pencil Company the building had fallen into disrepair. Set at the entrance to Keswick, this important local landmark has now embarked on a £10.5m redevelopment project, split into four phases. The Sto materials have been used on the first phase. which has seen the building’s front elevation fully restored, and they have also been specified for the remaining three stages of the work which will follow.

“This is a very important development for Keswick Ministries, and so it was important that they undertake this project using the best materials for the job,” explains Ashley Wainwright, Head of Sales for Sto. “We worked closely with them to design the ideal external wall insulation system which would combine outstanding thermal insulation with a very impressive façade finish. Our StoTherm Mineral system is ideal for this type of building, as the various fixing options it offers can accommodate all types of substrate that are normally found on refurbishment projects.”

The BBA-certified StoTherm Mineral K system combines impressive thermal insulation with unrivalled fire protection characteristics.  It features Sto-Mineral Fibre thermal insulation boards, which in this case were fixed to the substrate using StoLevel Duo Plus mineral bonding and reinforcing mortar.

“This allows any unevenness in the surface of the substrate to be accommodated and makes installation a fast and easy process,” comments Alan Rees of Eco Rend North East who installed the Sto system. This efficient single-leaf construction allows for excellent thermal performance without reducing the interior space, and as it requires no additional expansion joints, a smooth and unbroken exterior surface can be created.

An additional mineralic reinforcing coat was then applied, and the exterior surface was finished with Sto’s StoSilco silicone resin render. With high CO2 and water-vapour permeability characteristics, StoSilco render allows a weather- and water-repellant outer surface to be created in any of the 800 colours which are available in the StoColor System. 

Keswick Ministries is an evangelical Christian charitable organization which has been hosting the Keswick Convention in Keswick since 1875.

It’s great to see a building that had become dilapidated being brought back to life, it is important to Keswick and there isn’t a space like it in Cumbria

Mark Jenkinson


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