The Building Envelope


For almost forty years, External Wall Insulation (EWI) in the UK has been represented by INCA, the industry’s trade association, and INCA is now a flourishing organisation with its membership comprising the industry’s premier system designers, component suppliers and installers. Technical standards and excellent workmanship are the mantras of INCA and the highlight of INCA’s calendar is always the annual INCA awards, showcasing the best in External Wall Insulation. The 2020 awards were presented in an online ceremony to members and the winning projects demonstrate the tremendous variety of schemes carried out in both new build and refurbishment sectors and for residential, commercial and educational buildings.

cavity tray

When it comes to masonry wall constructions, cavity trays play an essential role alongside key elements such as cavity barriers and fire stops. They are designed to keep moisture at bay, ensuring that any rain that penetrates the cavity does not reach the inner leaf, thereby reducing the risk of internal damp which can cause serious problems for buildings and occupants alike. But for cavity trays to be effective, it is important to understand how they work, what the installation requirements are, and also when other considerations need to be taken into account when integrating them with products such as cavity barriers and fire stops.


James Hardie Europe GmbH, the leader in fibre cement building materials, has launched the HardiePlank® Product Family which pairs a new level of design flexibility and the unmatched performance of JamesHardie® fibre cement products.

PVC-U windows

Heritage colours and kerb-side appeal were among the factors that persuaded the planning authorities of Bath that Modus PVC-U windows from Eurocell were the appropriate alternative to timber on a prime, exposed location near the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The estate was being developed by Bloor Homes, along with another major housebuilder, on a former MoD site dating from WW2 that overlooks the Georgian city and is near to its race- and golf course.


With the changing climate, the past three years have seen an upsurge in subsidence affecting housing in the UK and this trend will continue. With 2.5 million properties, Housing Association's require a fast solution that mitigates the need for properties to remain vacant or tenants decanting. In 2018-19 the government reported 2,674 cases of solid wall repairs to their local authority stock of 1.5m homes, with 3,900 planned repairs for 2020. If only half of these cases are subsidence, at an average repair cost of £6000, that equates to a £10m+ annual subsidence repair bill. By applying the government figures to the 2.5m HA stock, annual subsidence repair costs could be anywhere between £20-30m. Furthermore, when those figures are considered over decades over £300million could be spent.


With more than 85 years’ experience, Sidey is in the top 10 of the UK’s biggest fenestration companies. With all round expertise in commercial, new build, trade and domestic windows, doors, glazing and offsite construction, Sidey works with Local Authorities & Housing Associations across the UK to provide best value solutions.


Orbit Housing’s Fordham House development in Stratford-upon-Avon is an 82 apartment block designed to shield its residents from noise, many of whom are local workers in restaurants and bars so have to work shifts outside the usual working day.

This is achieved with special acoustic ceilings added to deep hollow concrete floor slabs. Fitted blinds within the window reveals also provide an additional noise cushion.