Telephone: 01233 813569
Frequently asked questions
What is thin bed blockwork?
Thin bed, or thin joint blockwork as it is commonly known, is a large format block system manufactured to a higher standard of accuracy than conventional aircrete blocks. It uses a specialist high strength adhesive laid to a 2mm thick bed.
How does it compare to ‘timber frame’?
Essentially, it is a masonry alternative to timber frame. It offers most if not all of the benefits of timber frame, with the added robustness of solid masonry. It also has the benefit of increasing the thermal mass, which is an important factor in PassivHaus construction and increasingly recognised as a significant factor in personal comfort.
Can you meet the latest Code for Sustainable Homes?
Yes, thin joint blockwork is recognised as a Modern Method of Construction and is widely adopted to meet both Code Level 3 and Code Level 4 of the CfSH. It can also be adopted for PassivHaus construction; in fact it makes an ideal structure because of its thermal mass properties.
What strength blocks can you use?
Thin joint blocks are manufactured in all of the standard aircrete block strengths 2.80 N/mm2 Solar, 3.60 N/mm2 Standard and 7.30 N/mm2 Hi Seven, together with a few 10.30 N/mm2 Hi Tens. The principal difference is the accuracy and format of blocks. We tend to specify the Jumbo Plus format, which is 610mm x 270mm and manufactured to high degree of accuracy +/- 1mm.
How expensive is it?
In a recent study undertaken by Calford Seaden, it was concluded that the thin joint blockwork solution at Code Level 3 was 8% cheaper than either the equivalent timber frame or SIPS panel solution. We would further argue that when adopted as part of an integrated design solution, at Code Level 4 the savings or benefits are even greater when you factor in the elimination or reduction in renewable technologies.
What is the lead time on your system?
Depending on the scale and level of complexity of your project, the average lead time would be in the order of six to eight weeks. However, to benefit fully from the system, we recommend that you get involved in the design process as early as possible in order to maximise the potential savings.
How quickly can you erect the frame?
Essentially, we can build a typical pair of semis from oversite to watertight in 10 working days; and depending on the scale of the project and the desired handover rate, we can complete a pair of units every five working days thereafter. After that, it is just a question of adjusting the resource levels.
Which services are you able to offer?
We originally established the business to build the inner leaf of the superstructure from oversite right up to wall plate level and then pitch the roof structure, including the installation of the intermediate floors. However, as the building process becomes increasingly complex, we now find ourselves invariably undertaking the whole of the structural envelope, including the external leaf, managing and coordinating the scaffolding, installing any structural steelwork and PCC floor planks. We even supply the forklift and fit the soffit and fascia too.
Thin Joint Factsheet
Everything you need to know about thin joint
A full explanation of thin joint blockwork and related areas. The perfect guide to share with colleagues and managers.Tweets by @MFS_Kent