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Sto's External Wall Insulation Systems and high-performance Facade Paint helps bring new Innovation Studio to Life

innovation_centre_sto_1 Show image in its full size

A modern, dramatic, external appearance that reflects the creative nature of the occupants of this new Innovation Centre. Photo by Alive Photography.

A new state-of-the-art business incubation building in Dorset has been completed with the use of an integrated package of Sto thermal insulation and external render and paint products. The company’s StoTherm Vario and StoTherm Classic insulation systems were specified for the new Innovation Studio at the Arts University Bournemouth, along with StoSilco exterior render and StoColor Dryonic façade paint.

The new Innovation Studio now provides a base for digital and creative start-up businesses, providing support with their research, innovation and development initiatives. “This is an important building, part-funded by the Dorset LEP,” explains Tim Culverhouse of project architects, CRAB Studio. “It needed to combine a very specific mix of internal facilities with a modern, dramatic, external appearance that reflected the creative nature of the occupants.”

The cost-effective StoTherm Vario system installed onto this unique two-storey building has an efficient single-leaf construction that provides excellent thermal performance whilst also protecting the external wall surface from weathering. A mineral bonding and reinforcing mortar was used to adhesively fix the insulation to the cement particle boards and lightweight steel frame, and the system was able to accommodate the curved substrates which feature in the building’s design. Although an alternative insulation system was originally considered, it was decided that Sto solutions could provide the same thermal performance, but also deliver cost benefits.

StoTherm Classic K insulation was also specified for certain parts of the building. “We needed a different solution for some areas,” adds Tim Culverhouse. “These sections carry painted murals, and we wanted those to extend right down to the bottom of the walls, so the insulation had to extend down below the damp-proof course. The StoTherm Classic K was perfect for this. It didn’t require any additional expansion joints, and so created a smooth surface onto which the murals could eventually be added. The murals now appear to ‘flow’ down into the ground and create a striking visual effect.”

A reinforcing coat with embedded reinforcing mesh was applied to the insulation, followed by the StoSilco K1.0 silicone resin render, to add extra protection. This genuine silicone resin based render is robust, durable and provides a very high degree of CO2 and water vapour permeability, to reduce the risk of interstitial condensation. The overall external façade system was completed with the application of Sto’s innovative StoColor Dryonic façade paint in yellow and orange shades. This unique paint uses principles borrowed from nature to create a surface which simultaneously repels water and channels it away to encourage the surface to dry more rapidly and protect against the growth of algae and unsightly staining. The façade will look exactly the way the architect had planned, and will go on looking that way for many years to come, with far less maintenance than any conventional alternative would require.

“This project really highlights the benefits of being able to source a wide range of insulation and render products from a single, specialist manufacturer,” explains Bradley Halls of Complete Rendering Systems who installed the Sto products. “The Sto solution certainly offered the level of quality and finish that a high-profile project such as this demands, and knowing that all of the different products were compatible certainly helped to simplify the installation procedure.”

The Innovation Studio building now houses a mix of office, studio and multi-purpose areas. It represents a valuable new resource which has the potential to deliver significant benefits to the region by strengthening links between the University and the local business community.