Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Memoranda

Memorandum by Insulated Render & Cladding Association Ltd (INCA) (TAB 30)


  Thank you for inviting us to contribute to your deliberations. Our comments are centred on the value of insulated render and cladding (external wall insulation (e.w.i.) in modern construction, overcoming or modifying some previous deficiencies in tall buildings.


  EWI, as part of a composite method of construction, is the dominant method of construction in the larger Continental European countries—for residential and non-domestic buildings. In the UK, its main use has occurred in the upgrading of, particularly, 1960's local authority dwellings and high-rise apartment blocks. The current market breakdown now embraces a larger proportion of new build both residential and non-domestic.


    (a)  adds a layer of insulation to a wide choice of thickness and thermal resistance in the most favourable position (at the surface of the building fabric, protected by the outer coatings); creating a thermal store;

    (b)  adds long-term weather-resistance, perhaps lasting for 30 to 40 years, for the external walls;

    (c)  offers a wide choice of decorative and traditional finishes: so that almost any building décor can be replicated or improved. This includes copying Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian styles and providing wide scope for modern colour co-ordinated or contrasting décor;

    (d)  because of the advantages listed above, the technique applied to existing buildings would, in principle, add value to the improved properties to a greater extent than the cost of the improvement—obviously dependent on situation;

    (e)  construction of e.w.i-composite new build can in most cases be carried out more speedily than many other traditional methods of construction. Because of this and other technical and site advantages, costs can be highly competitive, often resulting in substantial financial savings. (Brochures are being forwarded by post for additional information.)


  E.w.i. composite new build and e.w.i. renovation of existing buildings is suitable for buildings for residential and non-domestic usage.

  Tall light-weight buildings are forecast by many designers to be the "buildings of the future". This is because framed construction—perhaps using reinforced concrete or steel—offers many advantages. E.w.i. can then form an integral part of this lightweight but very robust design.


  We have commented above on thermal insulation aspects: the thermal store effect is one of the most desirable situations to achieve, allowing the mass of the building to heat up internally, whilst providing an external barrier to ingress of temperature extremes. Requirements for internal heating capacity and usage are therefore much reduced.

  The long term weather-resistance—and, if necessary, vandal-resistant coatings—substantially reduce maintenance costs (in comparison with many alternative constructions).


  Because of the wide choice of finishes and detailing available, for e.w.i., décor of buildings can be accommodated to their location and environment.


  Many of the deficiencies of these buildings can be overcome by renovation with e.w.i., and economically. The thermal store effect and weatherproofing generally solves the question of high heating and high building maintenance costs. The building appearance aspect can be brought to the highest standard of décor.


  The industry is capable of substantial expansion from its current capacity of treating, say, the equivalent of 15,000 houses or 30,000 flats per annum.


  The industry has a presentation showing how a wide range of existing buildings have been improved: and on the advantages of e.w.i. in new buildings. Members of our Board would be pleased to make such a presentation if the Sub-committee requires—or to otherwise provide verbal or further written evidence.

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