Porotherm, a precision engineered 190mm width clay block with tongue and groove interlock for use as load bearing and non-loadbearing walls and in monolithic wall design.
Contractor: Campion Homes
Customer: Kingdom Housing / Fife Council
Building size: 1,696 sq ft (157.6 m2)
Project length (Porotherm build): Five Days
Time saving: Three times faster than traditional concrete block
Porotherm Block: PT190 and PT100
Wall spec: Plasterboard, 20mm Kingspan internal insulation, Porotherm PT190, 90mm Kingspan external insulation, external render
Wall thickness: 345.5mm
Thermal performance: 0.15W/m2K
"The thin joint mortar reduced the amount of water we used and because the blocks are so easy to cut to size, we produced very little waste on site. The finish is particularly neat which gives the team huge job satisfaction, not to mention the lightweight blocks which make for easier transportation around the site, a welcome addition for the brickies!" Dougie Herd, Construction Director, Campion Homes
Wienerberger’s Porotherm system was selected as one of a small number of sustainable, innovative products used at the Housing Innovation Showcase in Dunfermline, Scotland. This £3.3m joint venture between Kingdom Housing Association and Fife Council is supported by Fife Construction Forum and Green Business Fife and will see the long term performance of a series of ‘sustainable’ homes monitored and evaluated.
The 27 new homes were constructed using sustainable building methods and products as part of a trial to identify the best systems on the market for affordable housing programmes. The pioneering project was designed to drill down into the different products and systems, allowing them to be reviewed on a number of criteria – from the inherent green credentials of the materials, thermal performance of the finished structure and energy saving benefits of technological solutions, to the cost considerations of value and labour. The experiment reflects Fife Council and Kingdom Housing Association’s commitment to sustainable construction and also the industry advancements made in quality, sustainable, building materials.
The homes were built by seven different development partners using 10 different designs and construction methods, including leading housebuilder Campion Homes which used Porotherm in the construction of Plot 14, a pair of two bedroom semi-detached cottages. External walls have been constructed with a monolithic 190mm block with insulated external render, with the smaller 100mm Porotherm blocks used for the cavity party walls.
Wienerberger’s Porotherm clay blocks are precision-engineered to create a superflat horizontal surface which requires less than 1mm mortar and no mortar in the vertical joints, reducing water use on site up to 95%. The blocks use up to 30% materials from recycled and alternative sources and are 100% recyclable. In addition to the ‘green’ credentials of the system in terms of construction, the honeycomb internal structure of the blocks gives the Porotherm wall huge insulative value, making the finished structure thermally efficient, contributing to reduced energy use by occupiers and helping to meet Part L standards.
The other main benefit of using the Porotherm system for this build is the speed of construction which was three times faster than traditional masonry methods and made possible by the precision-engineered blocks and quick drying thin-joint mortar.
With its outstanding environmental properties and cost-effective and time-efficient installation, the Porotherm system’s potential for the affordable housebuilding sector is clear.
"We’d never worked with Porotherm before but we found it straightforward to use and achieved incredibly fast construction speeds. As a modern method of construction the Porotherm system hits the mark in almost every aspect. Not only is it fast, but it is also sustainable." Dougie Herd, Construction Director Campion Homes
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