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Applying EWI Pro renders to SIP Eco Panels

SIP Eco Panels consist of a layer of insulation sandwiched between 2 sheets of OSB board. These panels are often referred to as SIPs, which stands for structural insulated panels. They are becoming more and more common on building sites because they allow the builder to achieve good u-values and excellent airtightness, but also the panels can be erected very quickly which dramatically decreases the build-time.

So how are SIPs panels finished? Well, on the whole, they are finished with a thin coat render system. We always recommend a breathable silicone or mineral render, to help allow water vapour to escape. In this blog, we are going to describe the installation process to provide a perfect rendered finish!

Installation Process of SIPs

With the SIPs panels in place, we recommend hanging a waterproof breather membrane over the entire surface of the panels. Something like DuPont Tyvek Housewrap works pretty well – this membrane should be secured with galvanised nails or staples at 600mm centres horizontally and 300mm centres vertically.

Once the membrane is in place, vertical battens need to be fixed onto the SIPs panels. The positioning of the battens will depend on the render carrier board used, since the battens need to support the render carrier board that get attached on this.

We normally recommend the 12mm Econic render carrier boards since they are relatively good value and they can be scored and snapped. The boards measure 2400 x 1200mm in size and require vertical battens to be positioned at a maximum of 600mm apart. The battens should be 75mm wide, to allow plenty of space for two neighbouring boards to be attached. We recommend a 5mm gap should be left both vertically and horizontally between adjacent boards to allow for expansion.

Once the render carrier board has been fixed to the battens, you are then ready to apply the basecoat layer.

Applying the basecoat to the render carrier board is then relatively easy – we recommend using EWI-225 premium adhesive. The EWI-225 is both strong and flexible and so ensures a long-lasting finish when applying the render to the SIPs boards.

EWI-225 Premium adhesive is a dry mix and needs to be mixed with 5.5 litres of water prior to application. Once the adhesive has been mixed with water and the white putty has formed, it needs to be applied to the render carrier board with a notched trowel. We recommend using a 10mm notched trowel, this is the best size of trowel to apply a 6mm layer of adhesive to the cement board.

Once the adhesive has been applied, the fibreglass mesh needs to be embedded within it – it is this mesh that gives our render systems such flexibility. EWI-640 Reinforcement mesh comes in 50m2 rolls (1mm wide), and this needs to be applied in vertical strips within the adhesive.

The strips of mesh need to overlap one another by 10cm at edges and this needs to be sunk within the layer of adhesive – this can be done by using the flat edge of the notched trowel and drawing this up from the bottom of the wall – this will pull the adhesive through the holes in the mesh. Allow the EWI-225 at least 24 hours to go off before applying the render.

Applying render to SIP Eco Panels

You are now ready to apply the final top coat render (EWI-225 premium adhesive does not require priming, prior to applying the render).

For all our EWI-Pro thin coat renders, the thickness of the layer is determined by the size of the granulate in the render. For example, EWI-040 Silicone Silicate render comes in 4 thicknesses, 1mm, 1.5mm 2mm and 3mm. The layer of the render should therefore be either 1mm, 1.5mm, 2mm or 3mm depending on the render used – it should be no thicker!

This is really important to remember, and will ensure the finish is good. We have heard several reports of people applying the render too thick, and not being able to achieve the required finish. With that in mind, apply the render to the SIP Eco boards with a trowel and then pull off all the excess with the trowel. Once you have taken off any excess, leave the render for 5 mins and then, using a plastic float, work the render in a circular motion to give the final textured finish.

New products! Monocouche Scratch Render and Dash Receiver!

New products have recently been added to our EWI Pro line-up!  We are always looking to expand our range to meet the demands of homeowners and EWI installers. So, have you tried our new EWI-090 Monocouche scratch render and our EWI-235 Dash Receiver? Both work towards a seamless finish to your external wall insulation system for the appreciation of your clients!


Applying our New Monocouche Scratch Render…

This is a dry-mix, thick-coat render which is more traditional than our other thin-coat renders. This render needs mixing with water before you can apply by hand, or by using a spray machine). You can offer your clients a choice of 18 different colours all of which provide a long-lasting finish which they will undoubtedly enjoy!

When using the Monocouche Scratch Render, it must be applied in two coats for extra strength. The first coat should be around 8-10mm and fibreglass mesh should be embedded within it. The second layer should then be applied at a thickness of 8-10mm before the first has completely dried, to enable the two layers to bond together.

Once the Monocouche Scratch Render has completely gone off, you need to use a scratch float to create a texture and finish of your choice. You should scratch back around 2mm, so that the render should be a total thickness of around 16mm. We recommend that you attend one of our free training sessions for further information on how to use our EWI products.

When you are using the Monocouche Scratch Render, we it’s best that you do not apply it in humid, hot (over 30’C), wet or cold conditions, or if these weathers are expected before it has completely gone off, as this can affect the outcome and the desired finish.

The render should reach its optimal strength after around 28 days!


Applying our New EWI-235 Dash Receiver…

Our new EWI Dash receiver is the perfect material for clients who want a pebble-dash effect on their homes. You can use this Dash receiver as part of your clients EWI system on top of either our basecoat, basecoat adhesive or adhesive coat.

Our Dash Receiver only needs to be applied in one coat, and you can use a spray machine for application. Simply mix with clean water and use a mechanical mixer to create the correct consistency. As per the instructions on the bag, we recommend that you do not apply the EWI-235 in wet, cold or humid conditions, or if any of these conditions are expected before the dash receiver has gone off properly. For further information about the application of the EWI Dash Receiver, feel free to attend one of our training sessions which take place every Thursday. Just give us a call to book your place!

Depending upon the environment and the humidity, the Dash Receiver should have gone off after 28 days time.

Come to our Thursday EWI Training sessions!

Here at EWI Pro, we are committed to helping build small businesses who specialise in External Wall Insulation services. We have many approved installers in different areas who are frequently at the benefit of receiving our customer leads, and who we are proud to have representing our products.

Did you know that we host EWI installation training sessions every Thursday? If you attend one of these training sessions, you will receive a certificate of approval for EWI installations.

We can then add you to our approved installer list! This means that when we receive EWI installation customer leads for your area, we can send work your way to help you grow your business.

When you attend one of our training sessions…

You will be at the benefit of our expert technical advice and expertise about the use of our EWI systems. You will be able to take part and use the materials for yourself to familiarise yourself with them and practice ahead of any of your future installation jobs.

The training is ideal for anyone with prior experience with rendering or plastering, but we are always happy to accept new people with little to no experience who are looking to get into the industry. Our sessions are broken up into 1.5 hours of theory plus 2.5 hours of practical and they include a run-through of all products and stages of the installation process. We will make sure that you have all the right equipment, and that you have enabled the site correctly. We then discuss substrate testing and priming, EPS handling (adhesion and mechanical installation), beading, basecoating and rendering.
During our training session we will also cover health and safety onsite, environmental considerations, material recycling, spotting fuel poverty, PAS 2030 and looking for funding. We start with a presentation, then a practical element with a chance to try the techniques later on in the session. We then certify you as an installer!

Also, when you become an approved installer, you will be eligible for a standard 10-year warranty on all of our EWI Pro products, or a 25-year warranty if you are insured by an independent company such as GDGC (The Workmanship Guarantee Scheme). This means that your customers will be guaranteed assurance on a long-lasting system!

Sign up for our Pro Points Scheme!

You can also sign up to our Pro-Points scheme! All you have to do is sign up and collect your points on every purchase you make, we can then track your points and give you monthly updates about how many you have collected. You can trade your points in for any of your amazing prizes!

Book Now…

You can book your free training session by calling us here at EWI Store Chessington on: 0203 3974067 or email:


EWI Pro Renders on Render Carrier Boards

Render carrier boards approved for use with EWI Pro renders

We are delighted to announce that we are now offering 10 year warranties to our approved installer network on render-only projects installed onto one of our preferred render carrier boards. We have gone through an extensive period of testing different boards and finding the optimal solutions that will work with our fantastic range of thin-coat render systems.

What is involved in installing render on render carrier boards?

The solution is incredibly simple; the carrier board does not even require primer. It is simply a case of applying our premium adhesive (EWI-225 Premium Adhesive) to the carrier board to a depth of 6mm and then embedding our EWI-66640 fibreglass mesh. Once the basecoat layer has properly dried, it can then be primed with the relevant primer (depending on which render is used) and then the render topcoat is added.

You may also use the EWI-220 Basecoat as the undercoat layer, and this substrate definitely needs painting before the final top-coat is applied. As the EWI-225 Premium Adhesive is the white adhesive, it doesn’t require priming before the top-coat is applied, but you may wish to do it anyway.

We can offer the 10-year warranty on both our Silicone and Silicone Silicate render systems. The new render façade not only looks fantastic, but is also strong base for the system.

What are the EWI Pro approved render carrier boards?

We are delighted to announce we can offer our 10 year manufacturer backed warranty on the following render boards:

• Bluclad (Manufactured by Siniat Ltd)
• Renderflex (Manufactured by RCM Ltd)
• Rendaboard (Manufactured by Euroform, part of SIG)
• Econic (Manufactured by Duncryne Ltd)
• AquaPanel (Manufactured by Knauf)

EWI Pro: Regional Vulnerable Customer Support Campaigner of the Year!

Yesterday, we attended the East Midlands Energy Efficiency and Healthy Homes Awards. It was a great evening, made even better by the fact we came home with an award!

We won ‘Regional Vulnerable Customer Support Campaigner of the Year’.

The Twycross Project

In a joint project with Hinkley and Bosworth Council, Kay-Metzeler and Ellipse Energy, we set out to install external wall insulation on five bungalows whose residents were classed as vulnerable. These properties were chosen because they were identified as serious fuel poverty risks. They were all off-gas properties with elderly tenants, located within a rural area of the borough.

Inefficient, uninsulated properties can be a big danger to elderly and at-risk residents such as these who cannot afford to adequately heat their homes. A well as the risk to health, it can be crushing to stay in a cold house day after day, especially if your movement is restricted.

We were happy to be able to help with this project by donating all the materials required. EWI Pro’s systems were used on all the houses, from the insulation boards to the final render.

By turning around the poor housing conditions we saw, we have guaranteed warmer homes, and happier and healthier residents!

External wall insulation

Thanks to a measure that these residents would not ordinarily be able to afford, they now have the warm homes they deserve. The houses now have better energy performance, and the householders will benefit from lower bills and increased thermal comfort.

It goes without saying that we are really proud of the work we did on this project, having improved the quality of life of several vulnerable people, but getting this recognition was an added bonus!

Are you a solid wall insulation installer?

Sign up with EWI Pro external wall insulation and attend one of our free training sessions. We will then be able to offer you fantastic trade discounts, as well as passing on free potential leads in your install area.

We work with The GreenAge, an energy saving portal providing advice to both households and businesses. Through this portal, 100s of leads are generated each day and as one of their official partners, we work with them to help fulfil these requests.

If you sign up as an installer with EWI Pro rather than with The GreenAge directly, you will get a discounted sign-up rate as well as access to our most competitive price list.

If you are interested in installing EWI Pro for your clients, then give us a call on 0800 1337072 and one of our friendly team will help you start the onboarding process.

Improve the thermal comfort of your home with EWI Pro

As we approach winter, the drop in temperature outside has a huge impact on our homes. For us to stay feeling cosy indoors, it becomes an (often expensive) struggle to heat our homes adequately. It can feel like as soon as we turn our heaters off, the house returns to an icebox. This is the problem with the UK’s inefficient housing stock.

What is thermal comfort?

Achieving thermal comfort is not as simple as just turning your radiators up. This is because it is not the same as temperature, although temperature helps thermal comfort. Thermal comfort is when you experience a sustained level of ambient temperature in your home. When your radiators are on high, it feels warm in the immediate area around them, but further away it is cold. Combined with this, without insulation your home loses heat through doors, windows, floors and walls. This means a lack of thermal comfort.

How can I improve thermal comfort?

This is where external wall insulation comes in – a system combining insulating material with a render topcoat means that up to 35% less heat disappears through walls. This saves you money on your energy bills, as you’re not wasting money through inefficient heating, and improves the thermal comfort of your home. EWI Pro offers a huge range of products all designed to improve the thermal comfort of your home. Our systems are customisable, allowing you to choose from a range of high-performing insulation materials, coupled with a huge variety of finishes. Both our expanded polystyrene and mineral wool boards  are brilliant insulators and we offer a wide variety of renders or even brick slips for a traditional look.

Thermal comfort is not the only advantage of external wall insulation though – it can also really improve the look of your home, especially if it has existing render which is in a bad condition. Our systems are weatherproof and protect external walls, prolonging the life of the building, and preventing penetrating damp. Perhaps best of all, no floor space is lost, unlike with other forms of insulation.

Get in touch with us today for a quote or to find a registered installer in your area!


Busting external wall insulation myths

We often hear claims about external wall insulation that are completely untrue so we thought we’d round them up to prove why we believe in it so strongly as an energy saving measure.

  1. External wall insulation stops buildings being able to breathe

It’s certainly true that houses need a good air flow to make sure that fresh air is supplied to residents and moisture and emissions can escape.

Our external wall insulation products don’t stop this circulation of air.

Obviously, you’ll still need to ensure adequate ventilation through opening windows and using fans when necessary in steamy rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens.

2. External wall insulation leads to mould

Kind of the opposite -Mould occurs from damp, often caused when warm, moist air in a room cools on walls and ceilings, causing condensation to form. EWI raises the surface temperature of walls, reducing the temperature difference between the inside and outside and meaning condensation is less likely to settle on walls.

Plus, as mentioned above, our renders are breathable and therefore discourage the buildup of damp. Also, our mechanical fixings are designed with plastic, to keep thermal bridging to a minimum.

So there’s no reason why external wall insulation would cause mould, as long as you take the normal precautions. As always, it’s important to ensure adequate ventilation through opening windows and using extractor fans in areas of the home where steam is present, such as kitchens and bathrooms.

3. It uses more energy to manufacture external wall insulation than the measure saves over its lifetime

This is categorically untrue. While there’s no denying the energy used in manufacturing chemical-bases insulation products such as XPS, the payback in terms of the energy you save through installing them makes it worthwhile in almost all cases. The manufacture of foam, glass, PU or XPS insulation is estimated at 1,3000kWh/m3. Based on these figures, the payback in terms of energy saved can be as little as 1-2 years.

For example, 90mm of EPS attached to a traditional 9-inch solid brick wall will reduce the U-value (which is a measure of how much energy is lost) from 2.2 down to just 0.3 per m2K, bringing it in line with a brand new wall built today. Even with the most expensive insulating materials installed at a high thickness, the energy amortisation period will generally be less than 5 years. 

4. External wall insulation is a fire hazard

All our insulation materials are fire retardant, especially Rockwool, which has unrivalled fire resistance.

5. External wall insulation can damage health

None of our insulation materials contain fibres hazardous to health as they come in solid blocks. They are also sealed with an impermeable coat of render.

6. External wall insulation encourages the growth of algae

While normally only a cosmetic problem, algae growing on walls can be an annoyance to the homeowner.

Our renders are hydrophobic, meaning they repel water and are resistant to the growth of vegetation. They’ll keep your home looking new – probably more so than standard brick.

7. A living roof will insulate just as well

Green roofs and walls, planted with grasses and flowers, have a minimal effect on heat transfer through solid surfaces. Although living roofs can help with air pollution in densely populated areas, the only way they affect temperature is that they can help keep walls cool in summer, because sunlight cannot shine directly on the facade.

Conversely, external wall insulation has an impact in both summer and winter – and a much bigger one at that. It can prevent up to 40% of heat lost from a property.

8. External wall insulation looks ugly

EWI can actually really smarten and brighten a property, as well as protecting brickwork underneath. Render, as the final stage of external wall insulation, can be chosen in a variety of colours and even covered in realistic brick slips if you would like to recreate period features.

We hope we’ve cleared a few things up about external wall insulation. If you think of any questions we haven’t answered, let us know!

If you’re interested in getting a quote for external wall insulation, fill in the form below:

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10 Reasons to use EWI Pro External Wall Insulation System

  • A BBA-approved solid wall insulation system

EWI Pro has gone through the most stringent testing to ensure all the products we supply to installers are fit for purpose. Our external wall insulation products will help householders and businesses benefit from energy savings for years to come, as well as dramatically improving the appearance of buildings.

  • A fantastic range of finishes to meet your clients’ needs

We appreciate that clients will have very specific needs – we have designed the EWI Pro external wall insulation systems with this in mind, ensuring there are thousands of different colour/finish combinations available. From simple renders to brick slips, EWI Pro External Wall Insulation System has you covered!

  • Different adhesives/insulation products to meet client specification

Involved in a project where an architect has specified a particular insulation material or adhesive? Have no fear! We offer breathable insulation products and also have adhesives that can adhere to even the most testing building substrates, ensuring our products remain in place for decades to come!

  • All products delivered directly to client site

We know how important it is to get products as and when they are needed onsite. Our logistics department works very hard to ensure the process is as simple as possible for you to get what you need!

Need a palette of coloured render on site tomorrow? No problem! Our team are there to make it happen with minimum fuss.

  • Unparalleled installer support (both pre, during and post-installation)

Looking to install solid wall insulation for the first time, or have a few questions during install? Our team is here to help! Our state-of-the-art training facilities are the perfect learning environment so you can be a confident and competent installer. But our support doesn’t stop there; we know from time to time installers need a helping hand. We have a team of surveyors travelling around the country visiting sites and we also look to embed one of our seasoned installers with new installer teams to ensure they can learn the ropes from the best!

  • A cost-effective solution

Great support and a wide range of products sometimes isn’t enough! We know that when you are costing a job, it is key to get quality products at a fair price. This is what we give you – if you have a new job to start, give us a call to see whether our EWI Pro External wall insulation systems could work for you!

  • Leads delivered to our installer network

Through our various websites we get approximately 10 solid wall leads per day from Ability to pay customers. These leads are all pre-qualified and fed through to our installer network.

  • All our EWI Pro systems are approved for use with local council schemes

All our EWI Pro external wall insulation systems can  be used within local council schemes. Already 1000m2 of system has been used as part of the Smart Homes scheme, the Action Surrey scheme, ECO and the Green Deal.

  • Winter systems/wet weather systems available so jobs can be carried out all year around

We know how important it is for system installers to have a constant flow of work to ensure all parties can make a living. We have winter systems to ensure even during the coolest winter months installs can still continue. Our mineral render systems and winter adhesives allow our solid wall insulation systems to be installed 365 days of the year!

  • 25 year + manufacturer warranty

Looking for peace of mind? All our EWI systems come with a 25 year manufacturer warranty provided the installer has attended our training courses.

How EWI Pro Insulation Systems can help Architects with External Wall Insulation

Architects plan and design buildings as well as co-ordinate construction works – therefore they are quite important in determining the make-up on new buildings as well as specifying how existing buildings are refurbished and decorated. With the growth of external wall insulation systems in the UK, the role of architects working with these systems is becoming ever more important. Here at EWI Pro Insulation Systems, we recognise the need to support the industry to help to familiarise themselves with the various systems the we offer – this is why we offer a number of resources to help with this process.

In the rest of the article we explain some of the ways we can help, and what makes us stand out from the rest!

EWI Pro Insulation Systems play an active part in the EWI design process

The EWI Pro Insulation Systems are fully BBA approved and tested. Therefore, we can offer a range of different finishes to meet the unique challenges of existing and new building types in the UK. First of all, we offer two types of insulating material – the EPS and the mineral wool. These insulating materials are standard and have been used extensively in mainland Europe for decades and now more recently in the UK, which relatively little issues. Although some systems can also specify the phenolic resin materials, we don’t actually like using it, which is why they are out of scope of the certifications. 7.jpg

In addition to the actual specification of the system’s, we can also help with common questions about the specific attributes of the products themselves. For example, how should the EPS be installed on the wall? When is it optimal to render the wall?

Although the installation process is relatively easy to understand if you follow the installation guide, there are some parts of the process that we like to highlight so that there are no surprises at the business end of the installation process.

We help technically monitor the external wall insulation installs

Right from the beginning of the project, we are very happy to assist with the technical monitoring process. We have a repository of monitoring forms that can be used to track the progress and quality of the project that is taking place. Therefore, regardless whether the project is 25m2 or 1,000m2, the principles of external wall insulation installation should be the same.

When we technically monitor the projects for our installer partners, we take a pragmatic approach – we want to do everything we can to make sure that you comply with the various NHBC and Building Control guidelines. As an architect, we appreciate this is simply the areas that you have to address and consider on a regular basis as part of your design and project configuration stage.

For example, on a retrofit project where the building being upgraded generally has poor insulation quality would need at least 90mm of EPS insulation or 110mm or mineral wool insulation to bring it up to current building regulation standards.

If the property has flues and gas runs, they will need to be either extended and signed-off properly by a Gas-Safe engineer. In addition, around the flues, you will need to take extra care to install fire retardant materials to comply with NHBC guidelines.

Finally, should you have any non-conformities on your project we will do our best to advice on remediation and ways to minimise the impact to your overall project.

Offer our list of carded and approved EWI installers

With our products, we ensure that we have them fitted by a network of approved and highly trained installers. Before the fitters attend the training, we ensure they are vetted so that they have a minimum level of competency on handling insulation and undertaking various plastering and rendering activities.

For example, when the installers attend the first training session, they will be carded to Level 1. When the installer carries out their first job, we will go out to their project and carry out all the necessary technical monitoring activities already specified. Only when we are satisfied with the quality and the overall finish of the project, would we then upgrade their records to show Level 2 or Level 3 competency.

Therefore, you can rest assured that you will be getting access to teams of installers that will do a good job on your project.

Specialist CPD or product familiarisation courses on offer for EWI installation

If you are an architect and would like more familiarisation on external wall insulation systems, then please get in touch. We have been offering specialist CPD product familiarisation courses or specific training sessions in architect offices over the last 2 years.

The training sessions can be completely customised to your requirements or we can suggest some of our standard approaches that we believe would give you the most value for these systems.

If you would like to get your hands dirty, we can even organise training on the tools, to give you a better understanding how the various products and systems behave on various scenarios. We find that sometimes this practical approach really helps out with the learning process.

EWI information packs and a more personalised service

As a first step, we recommend signing up for our FREE information pack – this explains about the different external wall insulation systems on offer.

By signing up to this form you will receive a pack of relevant information, including a sample that will make this presentable and tangible to your client. This pack has been specifically designed to answer typical questions that an architect would ask or consider.

Before your project kicks-off we can also help discuss various types of finishes that can be offered to your client. Typically, these finishes can include the following considerations:

  • Type of render texture (grained or scratched surface)
  • Coloured render -available in 100s of different colours
  • Brick slips to match the existing brick look of the project pre-insulation.

If you need more personalised information, then feel free to give us a call or send us as email. One of our Office Managers will be more than happy to give you a call back and discuss your requirements.