VIVIX® exterior façade panels used in the Harthill House social housing project

VIVIX® exterior façade panels have been used to clad the Harthill House, a new social housing project in Wolverhampton, UK. Architect Richard Peterkin from BM3 Architecture specified VIVIX® panels in Storm and Paprika to complement the existing red brick buildings in the area.

The Harthill House, formerly called the Asha House, is owned by Midland Heart, one of the top ten housing and care organisations based in the UK. Midland Heart’s aim is to support those who need help to live independently, to assist in regenerating communities and to provide and maintain homes for more than 70,000 people with maximum customer involvement.

The Harthill house was leased to a BME housing association; the lease expired in 2008 and the property was returned to Midland Heart. In 2010 it was decided to redevelop the site. Corren Black, project manager, Midland Heart explains:

“The original configuration of the building was not user friendly and consisted of eight one-bedroom apartments. Our work involved the refurbishment and new build construction to provide social housing. The new building now provides six two-bedroom apartments and two one-bedroom apartments.”

The scheme, which started in March 2012, was funded by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and the ABCD Heritage Funding. The first six apartments were handed over in March 2012 and the remaining two in April 2012.

To clad the new building, BM3 Architecture specified VIVIX exterior facade panels. Developed in consultation with leading architects and colour consultants, VIVIX panels offer a fresh perspective in architectural panels. Available in plain colours, patterns and woodgrains, the VIVIX® range provides architects, designers and specifiers with the possibility to create not only individual design features but also allows for a harmonic blend with the surrounding area.

Richard Peterkin says:

“Due to the historical importance of the existing buildings in the area, we wanted to use colours that complemented the beautiful brickwork surrounding the new building.”

The front and partially the rear external face of the new build were clad with VIVIX panels in Storm and Paprika; grey to create a neutral background and red to complement the brickwork.

VIVIX consists of solid phenolic, engineered exterior façade panels with decorative surfaces on both sides. The VIVIX range provides the possibility to create exclusive looks in a cost efficient way. VIVIX panels can also be used to differentiate between floors or levels, or simply to design an innovative pattern to make a building stand out. VIVIX panels are also an excellent choice for the exterior applications such as balconies, soffits, decorative screening and fencing or to accent an entrance way of a building.

Richard continues:

“Apart from the design element VIVIX provides, it is also an easy to install, competitively priced high quality product; this made it an ideal choice for the Harthill House project.”

With a range of cladding solutions available, architects are increasingly choosing materials for exterior cladding that are not only decorative but practical and functional, contributing to how the building as a whole performs. VIVIX panels are resistant to impact and abrasion, are weather resistant and can enhance the life span of a building. Having undergone rigorous testing for severe use in accordance with EN438 parts 6&7 as standard, VIVIX panels have also been accredited by the British Board of Agrément and have been awarded the BBA certificate number 10-4747. They include double-sided UV protection as standard.

VIVIX panels cause minimal environmental impact as determined by Formica Group’s Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). All of Formica Group’s Global manufacturing sites and distribution centres have achieved the internationally-recognised Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain of Custody (COC) certification. Formica Group is also the first laminate manufacturer in the world to be awarded the Carbon Trust’s Carbon Reduction Label.

Formica Group, the inventor of laminate, marks 100 years of invention, innovation and design leadership in 2013. Working closely with architects, designers and specifiers, Formica Group is ideally placed to offer innovative new products and decors which respond to market needs and complement current design trends.