Sto rainscreen cladding system streamlines construction at Blar Mor

A Sto rainscreen cladding system has provided an alternative construction method for a new housing development, generating time and cost efficiencies.

Located in Fort William in the Scottish Highlands, Blar Mor comprises 117 one-to-four-bedroom affordable homes, which have been built by TSL Contractors. The main contractor partnered with AFS (Scotland), a leading provider of external façade solutions, to deliver a durable cladding system for timber frame homes, removing the requirement for traditional construction.

Steve Avery, director of AFS explained,

“Given the location of the development, TSL Contractors was seeking a new façade solution which would enable them to build the homes more efficiently without compromising on quality. Having used Sto’s products for numerous new-build projects, we recommended the StoVentec rainscreen cladding system.”

Sto reviewed wind load information and provided a Sto fixing assessment to assist AFS in the installation of the StoVentec system. Comprising StoVentec carrier boards, these were installed on the timber battens to create a ventilated cavity. Made from 96% recycled expanded glass granulate, the carrier boards are reinforced on both sides with glass fibre mesh. StoVentec boards don’t expand or contract with temperature change, providing a stable board to receive the render build up, and they can also be butt jointed with no risk of cracking.

The next stage of the installation process was to apply a layer of StoArmat Classic Plus, a cement-free base coat, embedded with Sto-Glass Fibre reinforcing mesh to the exterior of the StoVentec boards. The final façade finish was completed with StoSilco K1.5, a silicone resin render in white, which provides high levels of water repellence, protection against harsh weather conditions and excellent water vapour permeability.

Steve continued:

“StoVentec is very quick and simple to install which made it ideal for Blar Mor and the inevitable wet weather conditions. The system has also provided a thermally-efficient solution with facades that will be resistant to cracking and the elements, ensuring they retain their attractive appearance.”

The 117 homes form part of the first phase at Blar Mor, which is believed to be the largest affordable housing development in the Highlands since the 1980s. Following the success of the project, the second phase is also being delivered by TSL Contractors, and all these 63 affordable homes will feature the StoVentec rainscreen cladding system as well.

The Highland Council, which acquired the eight-acre site in 2015, is delivering the project in partnership with Scottish Government, a City Region Deal and Highland Housing Alliance (HHA).