Digby Road, London

Customer B R Hodgson
Architect Davy Smith Architects
Product Backing Structure

The brief

A reliable backing structure was required to fix the distinctive terracotta cladding on this residential block and 14-story tower of 97 affordable and social housing flats. The tiles, in three slightly different standard colours, were placed vertically requiring some specific design work from our in-house team of technical experts.

What we did

The cladding installer chose Aliva for our structural systems, reliability, structural verifications, service and support at every stage of the installation and delivery. The team devised a backing structure composed of helping-hand brackets, L shaped mullions and reinforcement brackets to support the weight of tiles. We designed a support grid layout to deal with the vertical installation of the tiles and ensure there was no deflection under loads.

What makes it special

Our challenge was to deliver the most economical and secure backing structure solution to ensure there was no tile deflection that could have caused irregular joints on the terracotta cladding. It completes an eye-catching finish on an unusual building that also features a living wall, roof terrace and communal heating for residents.

What they say


We have worked with Aliva UK successfully for a number of years. When a bespoke project like Digby Road came up, requiring detailed service and integrity of design, it was an easy decision to bring them on board again. Aliva provided a well-engineered design solution for the backing structures; one that we could be confident in for the design life of the building. Deflections, wind loadings and other important details were thoroughly dealt with. The manufacture quality of Aliva’s aluminium only enhances this view. Dave Duplock, Divisional Managing Director, BR Hodgson Ltd