Collyhurst Project

Collyhurst Project

Case study

The project

Set within the northern Manchester suburbs, Collyhurst is an economically rundown area that houses some of the most deprived communities in the country.

The region has experienced considerable population loss since the 1950s, due to decline in employment caused by loss of manufacturing industries and the development of investment and employment locations elsewhere in the city. Collyhurst consists of four 13-storey council-owned tower blocks, including Humphries, Roach, Mossbrook and Vauxhall Court, all of which date back to 1960s. Forming part of the major regeneration scheme, social housing provider, Northwards Housing gained funding through the Decent Homes programme and ECO, and worked with main contractor, Manchester Working Ltd to provide thermally efficient and aesthetically pleasing buildings that will deliver long term benefits and build a sense of place for its residents.

The Challenge

The old and dilapidated blocks required new windows, balcony enclosures, roof coverings, structural repairs and several other home improvements to combat prevailing structural and thermal issues. The residents were living in fuel poverty and experiencing poor air quality and noise pollution. To combat these issues, the contractor looked to complete an intensive upgrade of building envelope in terms of design, aesthetics and thermal performance. The buildings posed a challenge as they were leaning and twisting.

The ROCKWOOL Solution

Manchester Working Ltd worked with sub-contractor, Astley Facades to develop a solution to insulate the residential blocks. A combination of several ROCKWOOL insulation systems were specified, including ROCKWOOL BrickShield® system, REDArt® Silicone render system and ROCKPANEL cladding façade system.

Developed specifically for the renovation of existing buildings, ROCKWOOL BrickShield® was specified to enhance the thermal performance and building appearance. The BrickShield® insulation board was bonded to the exterior face of the wall, and mechanically fixed using Insulating Wall Anchors. BrickShield® Natural Clay Brick Slips from Ibstock were then site-bonded to the insulation, with joints pointed for a traditional brick appearance finish.

Offering triple value, the REDArt® Silicone EWI System is renowned for its thermal performance, fire protection and provides an attractive exterior for refurbishment projects. In addition to reducing fuel poverty, the REDArt® rendering solution has been developed to be installed on a wide range of substrates and wall construction types. This enabled Manchester Working Ltd to fix the insulation onto the external wall quickly and easily.


Thermal efficiency was paramount for the refurbishment of the blocks. The ROCKWOOL solution has proved to be successful in significantly improving the insulation performance and reducing heating bills. The refurbishment has also improved the aesthetic appearance of these blocks, making a positive contribution to the suburban fabric of the city, reviving demand and boosting the local economy.

Collyhurst before Collyhurst before
Collyhurst after Collyhurst after