There are a few different options for upgrading the wall cladding of an industrial or warehouse building for refurbishment. Perhaps the most straightforward would be to strip everything back to the frame and start again. However, if there’s a need to keep the building enclosed so that activities within it can continue, other solutions might be better.
“The first step is to survey the building thoroughly inside and out,” says Jonathan Arnold, Building Systems UK, Technical Services and Development Manager. “The steel frame of the industrial or warehouse building should be assessed for condition and capacity. Calculate what additional weight a new system would involve and work out whether the existing frame could take it.”
If the inner liner is to stay in place, it should also be inspected, bearing in mind that the laps between liner sheets may need to be retrospectively sealed, since this wasn’t a requirement under earlier building regulations. If purlins are to be reused, a survey to check their tolerance is advised.
The detailing and installation should be as for new build, says Jonathan: “Although there’s no requirement for air tightness testing on a refurbishment the specifier must demonstrate that reasonable provisions have been taken to ensure continuity of insulation and minimise air infiltration into the building.
Therefore, the simplest approach is to treat all new elements as you would for a new build. Jonathan also flags up the importance of reviewing fire regulations which could have changed since the building was erected. For instance, proximity of other buildings must be considered.
Although thermally upgrading an existing building is not necessarily a straight-forward exercise, it can have multiple benefits. Solutions such as overcladding can save on operational carbon and costs, allow business continuity, improve building aesthetics and boost the EPC rating, significantly enhancing market value and rental potential.
If you have a industrial building or warehouse that may benefit from a refurbishment please take a look at our range roof and wall cladding products and speak with the Building Systems UK technical department who can advise on the best solutions for your project.