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Sto Brick Slips Used To Complete The Facade Of The Birmingham Toybox Building

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Picture courtesy of Tom Bird

A combination of external wall insulation and brick slips from Sto were specified for a major new landmark building in Birmingham. The StoTherm Mineral K insulation system and StoBrick were chosen for the city’s new Toybox student accommodation building for their ability to combine outstanding thermal performance with a traditional brick appearance, and blend with other construction materials.

The 15-storey Toybox building is built on a prominent site near Birmingham city center. “We wanted to create a visually striking appearance that would give this new building a unique identity within the area,” explains Tony Mead of project architects Corstorphine + Wright. “In order to achieve that, and also provide a high level of thermal insulation, we worked with Sto to specify a combination of Sto thermal insulation, and different types and colours of Sto brick slips. Combined with the glazing and the external zinc panels this gave us lots of flexibility to translate our designs into reality.”

The StoTherm Mineral K insulation system uses mineral fibre boards which were adhesively fixed to the substrate. This allowed for fast and easy installation, and the accommodation of the curved surfaces found on the building’s façade. The system provides a high level of thermal performance, outstanding fire protection and effective sound insulation. Its single-leaf external construction also does not reduce the interior space of the building.

To create the impressive ‘sharkfin’ appearance for the completed building and extend the range of surface textures used, Corstorphine + Wright specified glazed ceramic StoBrick slips, in a contrasting green colour to the grey Sto resin brick slips used on other areas of the façade.

StoBrick has been developed as a brick cladding solution for use with mineral-fibre based insulation systems, to provide architects with the opportunity to incorporate genuine clay brick finishes into their façade designs, whilst also achieving the required A2-s1, d0 fire rating.

The BBA certified Sto resin brick slips also used on this project are manufactured from synthetic acrylic render and are compatible with all Sto façade systems, offering outstanding resistance to the effects of weathering, impact damage and mechanical stress. “The slips themselves are extremely lightweight and are bonded directly onto the substrate, opening up the range of design options for recreating the appearance of traditional brickwork in architectural designs,” comments Graham Chadwick of Craft Interior who installed the Sto materials.

Sto brick slips are available in a wide range of colours, sizes and textures, covering all requirements from surface structures which provide maximum visual impact through to those where a more uniform and consistent brick appearance is required. Sto also offers bespoke options for the resin brick slips, which enable architects to match existing brickwork in relation to colour, size and texture, thus providing a virtually unlimited range of design possibilities.

The Toybox building is operated by Prestige Student Living. It houses 290 student flats plus other amenities including ground floor retail spaces, a shared garden and a roof-top social area.

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