Not All Prefabricated Chimneys Were Created Equal
Prefabricated chimneys are like any other product: you get what you pay for. Euroform are the first to admit their Versachimney isnâ€™t the cheapest. But thereâ€™s a reason for that. In fact, there are several reasons.
Versachimney is not a GRP bolt-on. Itâ€™s a bespoke two-part system: a stainless steel plinth and a stack. The plinth can be put in place quickly, enabling you to make your roof watertight. The stack comprises a galvanised steel frame, Versapanel cement-bonded particle board, the pot (the only concession to GRP), a breather membrane and the EZWall real-brick slip system.
Of all these components (variously BS and EN approved, of course), the EZWall system is probably of most interest to contractors and self builders. Real-brick slips allow the chimney to be perfectly matched to the rest of the house. Weâ€™ve created Versachimney solutions for random stone constructions, Cotswold stone in a conservation area and, recently, a challenging slate construction.
Versachimney is built to last. A unique â€˜dual-weeping systemâ€™ enables moisture to permeate out of the structure, dramatically reducing the risk of weather damage, particularly the freeze-thaw to which real-brick slips can be vulnerable. Whatâ€™s more, with a few minor alterations, Versachimney can be transformed into a fully working chimney.
A bespoke product, Versachimney can work with any roof type: gable, ridge, pitch. In fact, our design team will produce auto-CAD drawings for any design your imagination can conjure. Whatâ€™s more they will provide you with comprehensive technical support and second-to-none after-sales care.
Using modern methods of construction, Versachimney can be pre-fabricated off-site, saving time and money. There are many benefits to using pre-fabricated components, for instance, high specification construction and a quality controlled factory environment.
Versachimney uses high performance materials, many of which have been tested or approved as below:
BS EN 634-1: Cement-bonded particleboards - Specifications - Part 1: General requirements
BS EN 634-2: Cement-bonded particleboards - Specifications - Part 2: Requirements for OPC-bonded particleboards for use in dry, humid and exterior conditions
BS 476 PART 6: Fire tests on building materials and structure. Method of test for fire propagation.
BS 476 PART 7: Method of test for classification of the surface spread of flame.
BS 4315 PART 2: Method of test for resistance to air and water penetration. Permeable walling constructions.
BS 5250: Code of practice for of condensation in buildings.
BS 5628 PART 3: Code of practice for use of masonry, materials and components, design & workmanship.
BS 6399 PART 2: Loading for buildings. Code of practice for windloads.
BS 8000 PART 5: Workmanship on building sites, code of practice for carpentry, joinery and general fixings.
BS 8104, 1992: Code of practice for assessing exposure of walls to wind driven rain.
BS 8200, 1985: Code of practice for design of non-load bearing external vertical enclosures of buildings.
Euroform were contacted by a house builder who was having difficulty renovating a property located in a quiet sought after area where listed buildings with many period features still existed. This particular builder wanted to turn a broken down cattle shed and cottage into a couple of comfortable cottages meeting all the standards of 2004 but with all the external features of the 16th century, this included period feature chimneys.
Due to the complexity of renovation with period and listed buildings, Euroform had the challenging task of manufacturing 2 Versachimneys using fast-track modern day components to bring back the authentic appearance to suffice planning and to match one of the original chimneys that remained.
The original chimneys where supported on large chimney breasts and were made from corbelled stone with a large stone step feature and where up to 3 metres in height. Just one of these period chimneys would have weighed in the region of about 2 tonnes. The prefabricated Versachimneyâ€™s would not have a chimney breast to sit on, as the house builder wanted to maximise the internal floor space, the Versachimneyâ€™s could only weigh up to 550 kilos but still needed to have the step detail and be up to 3 metres in height.
One of Euroformâ€™s technical department comments, â€œwe had to overcome some major design problems of marrying a fast track, lightweight prefabricated chimney with a 16th century stone chimney, this was one of the most challenging projects Euroform had undertaken but we had confidence that we could design a Versachimney to meet any building requirementsâ€.
Using stainless steel framework and high performance materials such as Versapanel cement particle board and Andura spray render, Euroform were able to imitate the original chimneys using the lightweight, prefabricated method. Each Versachimney weighed in at 550 kilos as requested and the 16th century appearance was kept.