Providing a base for the East of England’s renewables network
Based on the Suffolk coast, OrbisEnergy in Lowestoft is a cutting-edge, environmentally friendly building providing office space for businesses that are driving innovation and investment in offshore renewables.
In addition to offering top-notch office spaces, meeting rooms, and conference facilities, OrbisEnergy is also a centre of excellence for offshore businesses, granting occupants, guests, and backers entry to an unparalleled business network dedicated to offshore renewables.
OrbisEnergy’s proximity to the coastline had resulted in some weather damage to the existing building’s cladding, which was in need of refurbishment. With the building itself owned by Suffolk Country Council, local contractor RG Carter was awarded the contract by Concertus Design and Property Consultants Limited.
Working with a partner you can trust
Having worked with the team at RG Carter on several previous projects, including Orwell Quay in Ipswich and De Grey Road in Colchester, they knew we had a shared level of quality standards and a commitment to detail, and approached us to work alongside them on this project.
Simon Middleton, Site Manager for the project explains more: “I hadn’t worked with the team at Eden Facades personally before, but they came highly recommended as a result of the excellent standard of work they have delivered on other RG Carter projects.”
Commenting on the scope of works required at the OrbisEnergy building, Steve Mountford, Eden Facades Project Manager said: “We were brought in to remove the existing cladding, rails, and insulation from the building, and replace with new breather membrane, fire breaks, bracket and rails and insulation.
“An 8mm Swisspearl fibre cement cladding system had been specified for the project, which our team has experience installing across many projects, so we were confident we would do an excellent job at the OrbisEnergy building.”
Providing robust protection against the elements
Using fibre cement cladding for the building has many advantages, one of the main ones being the material’s high levels of durability – the fibres used in the cement paste make the cement more resistant to harsh conditions such as wind, rain and heat.
Fibre cement cladding is also incredibly low maintenance, which together with the high-quality products it is made from, makes it an ideal solution for a sustainable and aesthetically pleasing finish.
No nasty surprises, and the importance of an adaptable team
“With strip off and reclad projects, when the team removes the existing cladding, they often don’t know exactly what they will find beneath the cladding,” Steve comments,” occasionally, more work is needed to improve the installation and safety of the building, but in this case, we didn’t uncover anything unusual.
“We changed all the brackets and rails, and there were some areas where there were different sized boards on the corners where we needed to install different size fire breaks and insulation” Steve continues, “but essentially we were working with a flat concrete substrate – ideal!”
The office buildings were occupied throughout the refurbishment, and as a result disruption needed to be kept to a minimum. Simon explains: “As drilling into the concrete was fairly noisy, we agreed with the client that we would undertake this work at the weekends to avoid any interruptions for the office tenants.
“Steve and the six workers on site were great, they understood the importance of changing the schedule to meet the client’s needs and were able to work around this to deliver the work on time.”
Planning future work with experienced partners
“Working with Eden Facades has been excellent, “Simon comments, “through no fault of theirs, there was a delay in the delivery of the insulation material, but the team communicated well and kept us informed, not just during the material delay, but throughout the whole project.
“I would definitely recommend Eden Facades, they’ve done a great job at the OrbisEnergy building and I would have no hesitation in working with them again. I know colleagues are already in touch with them about working with us on another project we have in the pipeline, which is testament to the fantastic work they’ve delivered.”
To find out more about our services, have a look at the types of specialist support we offer – including rainscreen cladding and SFS. To speak to us directly about a specific project, contact the office on email@example.com or call 01268 744199.