INCA EWI Case Study: Shakespeare Towers, Harehills, Leeds


Shakespeare Towers, Leeds

External Wall Insulation Case Study

Project Type: Refurbishment

Building Type: Residential – High Rise

System Designer: Structherm Ltd

Installer: Engie Regeneration Ltd / G United

System & Finish: Structherm EWI System

Mineral Wool Insulation + Render Finish

U-value Achieved: 0.28 W/m²K

The refurbishment of Shakespeare Towers in Leeds was the culmination of collaberative work between Structherm, Leeds City Council, Engie, and G United. The project comprised of 3 tower blocks in the Harehills area of Leeds. The buildings were built  in the late 1960’s with Wimpey No Fines concrete, but a full structural survey proved the structures were stable enough for a standard EWI system.

The main aim of the project was to thermally and aesthetically upgrade the properties. Based on the thickness of the Wimpey No Fines concrete and the internal composition of the walls, the Structherm design team calculated 4 sets of U Values.

Internal compositionNo Fines ThicknessExisting U ValuePost-installation U Value
Internally Drylined240mm1.230.29
Internally Plastered240mm1.670.29
Internally Drylined340mm1.030.28
Internally Plastered340mm1.330.28

The table above demonstrates the extent to which thermal performance of a building can be improved through the specification of an external wall insulation system. This particular EWI system comprised of 110mm of non-combustible mineral fibre insulation in order to both improve the thermal performance to this extent and, most importantly, to achieve an A2 fire rating.

Part of the project required installation of the external wall insulation system over the winter months which posed specific challenges. In particularly, extra care had to be taken in the protection, handling and storing of the mineral fibre EWI panels as when exposed to moisture, the effectiveness of the mineral fibre material can be compromised.

For the finish of the project, the client wanted clean, bright colours to lift the buildings from the worn, dark terracotta colour of past years. A tectured, silicone through colour render finish in matching contrasts was used across the three towers – the use of three colours helping each building stand out in its own right.

Further to this, the client also wanted to incorporate the signage for the towers into the face of the building. Various methods were tested before a decision was made to stencil the stencil the letters onto the render and overpaint. The final look of the signs is striking, with clean lines throughout.

Standing out on the Leeds skyline, these towers are now a landmark in the area.

The three high rise residential tower blocks were installed with non-combustible mineral fibre as part of an A2 rated EWI system

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