Swifix fixings have been specifically designed and engineered specifically for refitting and installing both lightweight and heavy items through EWI systems. Ensuring the integrity of the EWI system as well as providing a cost effective and maintenance- free solution, the fixings can be used during or after system installation. The fixings are approved by many EWI system designs in the UK and ensure the protection of any guarantees and warranties associated with the installation.
Historically best practice relied on the use of timber for re-fixing external items back through EWI systems, which can contribute to cold spots and disturb continuous insulation characteristics. This can create performance issues for the system with the longer-term degradation of the timber also a potential problem.
The Swifix range was developed exactly for these reasons as it was felt that the use of timber pattresses for fixing items back through insulation was not in the best interests of the EWI install; an issue addressed as an area of concern and reported in the Hansford report.
Swifix also sought feedback from EWI system designers who welcomed the innovation and felt the products were a simple and effective solution. Tested by the BRE for strength, compression, wind and load, the fixings ensure the thermal efficiency of the building is maintained and provide an aesthetically pleasing appearance to enhance newly installed external wall insulation.
It is important that the re-fixing of items is considered as part of the tender process, with an approved product being used to protect guarantees and warranties. Therefore, Swifix was keen to ensure the fixings are incorporated into standard specifications instead of the previous issuing of standard drawings showing timber as a solution. Previously the specification of fixing solutions has fallen between installers and system designers causing ambiguity and confusion in the industry on who is responsible in the event of failure.
However, since the introduction of PAS2030 in 2017, there has been a change in the sector in considering the implications of the solutions currently used and Swifix now have a number of EWI system designers who include the fixings as part of their systems, with many more recommending their use. With the introduction of PAS2035, we hope to see the complete elimination in the use of timber pattresses and fixing systems such as Swifix becoming best practice.
Swifix was delighted to receive the Innovation Award at the recent INCA (Insulated Cladding & Render Association) Awards, celebrating excellence and innovation in EWI. In the category, the judges acknowledged that innovation in fixtures and fittings is essential and were impressed by the range of fixings, universally available, to suit the many different types of EWI systems and finishes. The fixings were seen as an excellent alternative to timber pattresses which not only contribute to thermal bridging but also can disturb the ‘continuity of insulation’ characteristics of EWI systems. The judges were also impressed by this company’s ability to identify a gap in the market and successfully develop a solution to ensure the integrity and protection of EWI systems.
With sustainability and the environment in mind, Swifix fixings are manufactured from high quality tensile plastic using recycled content and can carry weights up to 50kg. There are currently five basic fixings to enable the installation of satellite dishes, taps, washing lines, fence posts plus many other exterior items householders may choose to fix, with approvals for use by Sky (for satellite dishes) and the NHBC. Other items that can be fitted using Swifix fixings are gutters and facias and items can also be installed through insulated roof systems, such as bird netting and balustrades.
The fixings are designed and manufactured in the UK and the company is continuing to develop new products for the range to cover every eventuality!
All fixings are compatible with render, brick slip and spar dash finishes and can be used with any system thickness, as well as being suitable for MMC buildings. Swifix Fixings are ideal for use with many MMC system builds and are approved by a number of system designers. The frameworks carry a high level of insulation and as result the exterior of the homes is not designed to act as a support for fixings. Adding fixings, drilling or screwing into the typically brick slip or render surface is not recommended as it can cause damage to the insulation and affect warranties.
All products are manufactured in black and white as standard; however bespoke colours are available to compliment the finished render if required. Fixings are available direct from SWIFIX Ltd via their on-line store and from various distributors and builders’ merchants throughout the UK, with design and technical guidance available. www.swifix.co.uk.