Concrete block guidelines released

11 Oct 2018

The Concrete Block Association (CBA) has launched an online portal to educate the construction industry ab the benefits of concrete block construction.

The portal includes datasheets to support design, supplier choice advice and guidance about the benefits of concrete blocks.

Guidance aimed at the construction industry within the portal represents the start of the CBA’s Modern Masonry Better Built in Blockwork campaign.

It includes guidelines for how to best use various types of concrete blocks, from ultra-lightweight to dense. The CBA claims that all types of concrete block help achieve the highest levels of fabric energy efficiency in the long term, compared to other materials.

Key attributes of concrete blocks, include fire and flood resistance, a thermal mass that naturally keeps temperatures cool in the summer and warm in the winter and a good acoustic performance due to mass and damping qualities.

To coincide with the launch of the portal, the CBA is also unveiling a free online U-value calculator which provides interactive help in choosing block and insulation combinations to achieve required U-values.

U-value is the rate of heat transfer through a structure, divided by the difference in temperature across it. Calculating a building’s U-value requires consideration of the different elements layer by layer. The new online calculator aims to help people to decipher this complex equation and thus make the correct material choice.

Modern Masonry executive director Andrew Minson said: “The U-value calculator is a really simple tool that makes a big difference for specifiers to help them make the right choice.

“Together with the extensive thermal bridging details and calculated psi values, designers can ensure they optimise the thermal efficiency of masonry construction to meet regulations or even exceed them if desired.

“Energy efficiency has been a core consideration for the construction industry for some time. However, consumers are also becoming increasingly aware of the impact their energy usage has on the climate, and realise better insulation means lower heating bills. According to an Energy Savings Trust survey, nearly 90% of UK homeowners completing a home improvement between 2013-2016 made energy efficiency upgrades.”