Southgate House is a landmark building in the heart of Stevenage, close to the railway station and the bus station and with direct dual carriageway links to the A1(M).

It was formerly a commercial building, but typical of the style of office block which now offers better value for residential use, so planning was granted to convert it into 73 flats.
ProCare was awarded the contract to undertake the conversion and refurbishment of Southgate House, a project with a value of around £5m. Each floor of the building was stripped out to leave a bare shell, ready to build new partition walls and to install new services. The exterior was scaffolded from top to bottom to facilitate the installation of new windows and external finishes and to work on a new roof.

As ProCare’s appointed render contractor, InBuild was challenged with applying a 3-colour finish to the 14 storey block using an Alumasc system. This was a multi-stage process, starting with a coat of fungal wash and then stabiliser followed by a base coat layer with mesh, a further base coat, primer and finally a 1.5mm silicone top coat. The scaffold had to be tied in as did the hoist, so there were numerous patches on every floor that had to be filled in with render after each lift of the scaffold was removed. The design incorporated a ‘stripe’ of a different shade of grey so this had to be painted on after the render was dry.

It was a long process, working floor by floor from top to bottom, but the distinctive aquamarine and grey colour scheme has enhanced the exterior giving Southgate House an even greater profile.