Woodman Brothers
External wall insulation and façade solutions

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Merchants’ Academy

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LocationWithywood, Bristol
SystemAlsecco Render
ClientCowlin - Jamie Harwood, Project Manager
TitleMerchants’ Academy

This unique construction, valued at £23 million, consisted of seven pavilions around a central courtyard. A two-storey, concrete frame construction with cavity brickwork up to first floor level and the render system thereafter up to parapet level, with a single ply roof.

Thee sides of the pavilion are of one colour with the elevation that faces into the courtyard a different colour to identify each block. Woodman Brothers Ltd employed an Alsecco render system with a mineral wool insulation. Jamie Harwood, Project Manager, comments on the challenges faced by Woodman Brothers Ltd, 

"What was unique about this project was that the front entrance render needed to have a very smooth finish and texture so that an artist, commissioned by the client as part of the scheme, could paint onto it a piece of artwork. Woodman Brothers Ltd had to be extremely competent and very careful when it came to this façade as this would be the artist’s canvas, which would create a very striking first impression of the building”.

This was a major consideration when selecting the rendering company as they had to get it absolutely perfect so that the artist could work on it. 

Jamie continues, 

“Although I didn’t personally select Woodman Brothers, I’d heard of their reputation. They proved to be a responsive supplier and catered for all our needs. If one block wasn’t available they were very fluid and flexible as the construction progressed, coming up with solutions for coming back to us at a time that suited us. They worked closely with us to basically fulfil our needs and were able to get over any challenge”.

Woodman Brothers Ltd coped with tolerance issues typical of a concrete frame and block work super structure.

“They basically just got on with it, working with the tolerances and installed their system”, commented Jamie. 

“They are a family-run business that cares. They want to do a good job and want to help, so there is always close personal contact with the site from start to finish. They have a very hands-on attitude and a hands-on approach. So we were very comfortable and confident that everything would be cleared, with nothing left outstanding. I would be more than happy to work with them on my next project” Jamie concluded.


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