Hulme 4 Tower Blocks, Manchester

Project: Hulme 4 Tower Blocks, Manchester

Faced with 11 aging and energy inefficient residential tower blocks in Hulme, City South Manchester Housing Trust had a dilemma: demolish and re-build or refurbish and upgrade? After considering all the available options, the Trust decided to refurbish the existing towers using terracotta rainscreen over-cladding for much of the external façade.
Manchester based architect 2e (Edelmann & Ebling) specified 7500m2 of Terreal’s Blizzard terracotta rainscreen cladding which was supplied by Lancashire Brick and Tile. Wates Living Space secured the contract for Phase One of the £25m three-phased project which included overcladding four of the towers.
The two key aims for this urban regeneration project were to improve the appearance of the multi-storey blocks and to bring their energy efficiency up to the standards of the 21st Century. Like many other projects of this type, the design team selected external cladding because it not only met the two key aims but it also allowed the tenants to remain in situ while the refurbishment work was carried out.
Since completion of Phase 1 in 2010, the Hulme tower block modernisation scheme has won the Green Apple Awards (Built Environment Award), been Commended at the National Home Improvement Council Awards (Best Modernisation Project) and been a finalist at the Housing Innovation Awards (Most Innovative Refurbishment Project), the Sustainable Housing Awards (Housing Retrofit Project of the Year), the 3R Awards (Best Housing Project) and the Construction News Awards (Retrofit Project of the Year).