Maes Mabon: A community Reborn

Leading facades specialist, Alumasc, has worked in partnership with Caerphilly Borough Council to bring structurally viable homes up to a standard which is visually appealing, environmentally sound and socially beneficial. The project, on the extensive Maes Mabon estate at Nelson, is a classic example of how innovative solutions may be used to transform failing housing stocks.

Alumasc’s Swisslab external wall insulation (EWI) system was extensively specified for the improvement programme, which is being carried out over a number of phases. Swisslab provides a weatherproof envelope which carries thermal efficiency beyond current Building Regulation requirements, eliminating internal condensation and rainwater penetration while significantly reducing heating costs.

The system was installed by Alumasc approved contractors and offers a range of finishes, materials and fixing options. Phenolic insulation, mineral wool, polystyrene, polyurethane and ecologically favoured cork panels are available; these are secured to the structure and finished with any one of a choice of renders. In the case of Maes Mabon, the previously drab finishes have been entirely eliminated through a judicious mix of materials providing a diversity of colours, textures and styles.

Alumasc M.R. S7 plain and dash mineral render; Silkolitt high performance silicon render and the company’s specialist Brick Slip system, which replicates traditional brickwork, have all been applied, together with weatherboarding, to the Swisslab insulated slabs. The result is a highly attractive development of refurbished homes which will continue to provide essential social housing for decades to come - the Swisslab system is estimated to increase a building’s life expectancy by a minimum of 30 years. In addition, past refurbishment programmes of this type indicate that the improved environment at Maes Mabon will create a feeling of ownership for tenants, encouraging a sense of community and civic pride.

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