The Edge at Abbey Park, Colchester
Hardie Panel Fibre Cement Cladding
Hardie Plank Fibre Cement Cladding
The Edge project at Abbey Park, Colchester consisted of the internal and external refurbishment of four blocks of flats by local businesses, Marfleet Contractors and Datum Group. Having previously been used as accommodation for the Armed Forces, client Harding Homes had a vision to regenerate the outdated buildings, changing both the internal layout and the external facade, to create a desirable development of 80 apartments across the four blocks.
Located in a residential estate off Berechurch Road, the site sits opposite an expanse of fields and is situated two miles outside of Colchester city centre. The existing 3-storey buildings were built in a 1960s style, with a flat roof, traditional red brickwork and white and blue plastic cladding. Planning was submitted in 2020 to build a 2-storey vertical extension onto each of the blocks, alongside the overall modernisation and reconfiguration of the properties.
An important aspect of the refurbishment was to replace the existing cladding with a non-combustible alternative. The cladding was also used on the 2-storey extension to create a striking contrast against the white painted bricks on the lower half of the facade. Hardie® Panel fibre cement cladding and Hardie® Plank weatherboard cladding were selected for the build as they both hold an A2 fire rating in accordance with EN 13501-01 and provided the modern and sleek aesthetic that the design team had specified in the planning documents.
Hardie® Panel fibre cement cladding, manufactured by James Hardie, was selected in two colours for the facade. The blue colour was installed vertically to highlight large sections of the two highest storeys, with the darker grey colour used to match the window frames and fill in the spaces between the windows on the fourth and fifth floors. Copper coloured aluminium trims were used around the edge of the cladding systems to create contrast on the facade and to add a pop of eye-catching colour.
Made by the same manufacturer, Hardie® Plank weatherboard cladding was also selected for the development, installed horizontally in the recessed sections of the facade, to create a contrast to the other sections of cladding and tie in with the white masonry below. With service lives in excess of 30 years, alongside A2 fire ratings in accordance with their BBA certificates, the Hardie® Panel and Hardie® Plank cladding systems provided the perfect solution for the refurbishment of the four buildings.
Completed in March 2022, the development now offers 80 functional living spaces that provide views overlooking the green fields of Abbey Park. As well as being available through the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme, Harding Homes have offered incentives for NHS staff and the armed forces to live in the homes, helping them to get their feet on the property ladder.
To find out more about Hardie® Panel fibre cement cladding, click here.
To read more about Hardie® Plank weatherboard cladding, click here.