A large new residential project has been completed with the use of a Sto external wall insulation system and Sto brick slip finish, to create a visually striking new development in the heart of the UK’s second largest city. The 225-apartment Arden Gate development, from Birmingham’s specialist residential developer Court Collaboration, provides an excellent example of Sto’s ability to deliver full integrated façade solutions for high-profile developments of this type.

“This was intended as a high-level project which combined excellent design with high-quality materials,” explains Sto Project Manager Jeremy Ash. “The use of our StoTherm Mineral M external wall insulation ensured that the building would perform well from a thermal insulation point of view. Beyond that, the decision to use our Sto Resin Brick Slips as the external façade finish allowed the architects to combine both modern and traditional elements and achieve the appearance they required.”

“We had recently specified the StoTherm Mineral system and Sto’s Resin Brick Slips for an adjacent building and been extremely pleased with the result,” explains Doug Brown of project architects Corstorphine + Wright. “They had allowed us to create a very attractive finish for the building’s facades, providing a very convincing brick appearance but without some of the problems which conventional bricks bring, such as mortar stains and uneven surfaces. We were more than happy to specify them again for the Arden Gate development, and once again, we were very impressed with the end result.”

The BBA-certified StoTherm Mineral system uses highly durable mineral fibre boards which provide unrivalled fire protection and high thermal performance. It has an efficient, single-leaf construction which does not reduce space inside the building, and it can be installed without the need for additional expansion joints.

In the case of Arden Gate, the installation was completed using Sto’s unique Sto-Rotofix Plus mechanical fixings. These spiral fixings allow the insulation boards to be installed and then easily adjusted to accommodate any unevenness in the substrate, and so create a smooth and even external surface. They offer a safe, strong and flexible method for installing insulation boards, to give superior resistance to high wind loadings when compared to a typical rail system alternative. The fixings also allow the creation of a cavity to satisfy NHBC requirements.

The BBA-certified Sto resin brick slips used on this project are manufactured from synthetic acrylic render and are fully compatible with all Sto façade systems. They provide an accurate simulated brick appearance, plus excellent resistance to the effects of impact damage, weathering and mechanical stress.

“The lightweight nature of the slips appeal to architects as they extend the range of design options and allow them to recreate the appearance of traditional brickwork very convincingly”, comments Graham Chadwick of Craft Interior who installed the Sto system.

“Sto’s extensive range of brick slips allowed us to specify contrasting brick slips, and by combining a buff, a purple multi and a Staffordshire blue colour we were able to give individual appearances to different sections of the Arden Gate elevations, and yet still achieve a unified look for the development as a whole,” adds Doug Brown.

StoRend Fibre-Plus was also used on other parts of the development. This render system features a fibre-reinforced levelling coat which is combined with a tough, flexible reinforcing mesh to deliver exceptional levels of crack-resistance.