Case Study

Watford Riverwell



Watford Riverwell is a long-term regeneration project, creating a new neighbourhood around the River Colne with a wide mix of apartments and family houses. 

This NHBC-approved development of 750 new homes is a joint venture between Watford Borough Council and Kier Property, which is also restoring natural habitats and transforming 29 acres of under-used, former industrial land into a natural, healthy escape within an urban setting,

A2O were appointed by Bellway Homes to install CERTUS brick slip cladding panels, with pre-assembled units, as feature panels to an 11-floor apartment block.


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This has been A2O’s first project with the CERTUS rainscreen system – a new system for our installers.

The CERTUS brick slip cladding panels were pre-assembled offsite before installation at the 11-storey apartment block.

The pre-manufactured panels were fast to install on site, but the highly engineered product – which is a whole system incorporating product partners (i.e. sheathing board and support system) – required very careful supervision at install.

Settling tolerances in the concrete, blockwork and brickwork had to be designed for.

The rainscreen was designed with an open back vented cavity. Fixing back to brick was not possible.

A main challenge was coordinating the coursing of the grey brickslip panels with the traditional buff brickwork and balcony stub interfaces.



An  A2O team of 7 took a day’s training with ACS Facades to become approved CERTUS installers.

A high level of upfront design detail and scheduling were needed for the pre-assembled panels, which were installed from netted scaffolding.

Less components were needed on site but the panel layout had to be very accurate. Great precision was needed to align the Certus panels on site and allow for movement joints. Extra detail was required in designing, for example, corner returns. 

The bracket system was engineered to accommodate all movement in the structure.

Chemical anchors and masonry fixings had to be used to mount the subgrid, fixed back to concrete, block work, engineered bricks & perforated bricks.

As-built surveys were taken to optimise setting out of the Certus grey brickslip panels.

Fact File




Scope of Work


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