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INCA Case Study: Reema Properties, Swindon


Reema Properties, Swindon

​Project Type:Refurbishment

Building Type: Low Rise, Residential

Architect: Swindon Borough Council

System Designer: K Systems

Installer: Rateavon Ltd

System & Finish: K Systems VBriQ+ & Silkolitt+

U-value Achieved: 0.29 W/m2k

K Systems’ retrofit of the REEMA non-traditional construction Properties in Swindon, South-West England, is a stellar example of the company’s ability to harness years of expertise with forward-thinking innovation to meet the needs of its clients.

Swindon Borough Coucil had a development of 50+ properties in Upper Stratton all with aged facades and poor thermal qualities, some with U-values as inadequate as 1.59W/m ² K.

Swindon Council, lead by Projects Surveyor John Black, commissioned K Systems to completely refurbish this residential development and deliver on the following five primary objectives:

  • Improve the thermal performance rating of each home (SAP rating)
  • Deliver greater thermal comfort for residents
  • Choose a solution with acoustic benefits and noncombustable benefits
  • Reduce tenants energy consumption
  • Deliver an attractive aesthetic that would uplift the area

Having a good reputation for matching systems with finishes to deliver its clients’ visions, K Systems partnered with approved installer, Rateavon Ltd, to scope out the project and specification in fine detail, with particular focus on insulating properties and aesthetic.

Digital technology was deployed from the very beginning of this project to produce models and CGIs to not only assure Swindon Borough Council the finished project would meet its specific requirements, but to also guide the design process and ensure compliance with all health and safety regulations.

Solution, Specification, Challenges, and Results

Delivering a robust, aesthetic, and safe solution is what K Systems provides as standard but the organisation gives the utmost importance to attention to detail with each and every project and leaves nothing to chance.

On initial inspection, K Systems found a problematic substrate. The REEMA hollow panel non-traditional construction properties are constructed of a concrete frame with thin concrete panels to the exterior façade. This type of thin panel construction created a significant challenge for the team to find a suitable EWI fixing, but with the help from Rawlplug, one of our EWI fixngs suppliers a robust and safe fixing solution was found, without compromising the existing REEMA construction.

Harnessing years of EWI system design knowledge and unrivalled expertise in this field, K Systems worked closely with Rawlplug and a structural engineer on this refurbishment project to come up with a suitable fixing detail and pattern which would not only be robust but also suitable for this type of substrate. 

With a structurally strong solution agreed, focus then turned to the appropriate insulation solution.

After a comprehensive scoping process taking into consideration client requirements, project objectives, budgets and timeframes, K Systems specified the industry-proven K Systems M, Mineral Wool EWI system for the project to not only significantly boost thermal performance of the residential two-storey buildings but also reduce noise pollution for the tenants.

K Systems 100mm Mineral Wool insulation has an industry-leading ability to generate exceptional thermal performance. That made it the perfect choice for the REEMA Properities refurbishment as it would combat the increased heting costs faced by residents whilst retaining the solid foundations of the existing building and reducing the risk of condensation or mould damage.

Other technical benefits which made the K Systems Mineral Wool system the ideal specification for this refurbishment include:

  • non-combustibility, A2, sl-d0 fire rated
  • its excellent acoustic properties, reducing noise pollution
  • its environmentally friendly composition as the insulation is free from gases with ODP (ozone depletion properties) or GWP (global warming potential)
  • its workability and easy to cut format, reducing labour time across the board for the team

Having identified solutions that improved structure and thermal performance, K Systems then offered the best quality finish for all 52 residential properties in the Upper Stratton development – an aestically pleasing, cost effective combination of VBriQ+ clay brick slips and Silkolitt+ silicone render that both Swindon Council and the property dwellers would be proud of.

VBriQ+ is a light weight, highly durable, clay brick slip system and a more cost effective finish option in comparison to tradition brick systems without compromising on quality, weather resistance, workability and durability. This made it perfect for a project of this scale – a project which required maximum and long-lasting impact without incurring maximum costs.

The Silkolitt+ silicone render finish rejuvenated the properties’ exteriors and massively enhanced the area’s overall aesthetic, making it a much more appealing place to set up home.

Yet again going the extra mile for clients to ensure unrivalled workmanship and longevity, K Systems finished all 52 properties with K Pro – a water-based protective treatment used to provide long term enhanced water repellent properties to external render and other masonry surfaces, helping combat the problems associated with water intrusion including efflorescence, frost, water-soluble pollutants and algae growth meaning the substrate will stay clean and dry for longer.

Completed Project

 K System worked in collaboration with Swindon Borough Council and approved installer Rateavon Ltd to upgrade these poorly insulated houses and deliver a total revamp of the properties, resulting in thermally efficient homes.

One of the primary requirements was to improve the performance rating of each home, with a target U-value of 0.30W/m2K. In fact, K Systems exceeded that in the project delivery by achieving a U-value of 0.29W/m2K.

This resulted in greater thermal comfort and reduced heating demand and energy consumption for residents, as evidenced by the direct feedback on completion of the project:

  • “100% warmer and feels much more comfortable and cosy. I have seen a good electric saving so far. I did not get solar Panels which was a shame I can just imagine how even better it would have been. Seems to maintain heat in house for longer and noise level has reduced a lot”.(Sue)
  • “I love it, much warmer and cosy. I don’t feel cold so I haven’t hardly used any heating so my electric usage is very low. (Janet)
  • “Reduction in usage from £40 to £14. Very rarely had heating on since EWI has been done and when it has been put on it retains the heat a lot more so you don’t need to keep it on.” (Lee)

Additional benefits of the refurbishment also included reduced noise pollution, as evidenced by further feedback gained from residents on completion of the project:

  • “Noise level much better, heating bill reduced, house stays warm for long time so only need heating on for a short time. Definitely much better. (Tracey)
  • “I only hear noise now if I have windows open”. (Keith)
  • I work from home and the outside noise level has decreased”. (Lee)

The feedback indicates that this refurbishment didn’t just meet the requirements of Swindon Council and the satisfaction of residents, but could also be delivering additional health and mental well-being benefits by reducing noise disruption and alleviating financial worries caused by energy prices and the cost of living crisis.

The project was completed with minimal disruption to existing residents, and due to forward planning and regular site visits by an experienced K Systems project manager, where processes and progress were monitored and evaluated, the project was completed within the agreed timescale.

Regular inspections and site audits were carried out alongside Swindon Borough Council to ensure the same level of care and attention to detail that applied when specifying the project was being applied during its implementation and delivery.

As a result, K Systems and approved installer Rateavon Ltd delivered an excellently designed and expertly executed refurbishment, that exceeded the expectations and requirements of the client, Swindon Council, and the residents of the newly improved homes.


“From inception to completion K Systems have supported Swindon Borough Council in preparing a specification and agreeing all detailing to ensure current day Building Control Regulations were met. They visited the site many times before the tender went out, during works and completion. They carried out weekly detailed spot check reports with photographic evidence and also checked batch numbers of materials. They delivered a great service. A really successful project.”

John Black – Projects Surveyor, Swindon Borough Council

From inception to completion K Systems have supported Swindon Borough Council in preparing a specification and agreeing all detailing to ensure current day Building Control Regulations were met. They delivered a great service. A really successful project.

John Black

Projects Surveyor, Swindon Borough Council

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