Chantry Hall, Westbourne, West Sussex

MFS were appointed by Telegraph Construction Management Ltd to deliver 36 new affordable and retirement homes at Westbourne, West Sussex. The development was a mixture of 2 & 3 bed units using The Rå Build method.

Green Housing

Level 3 – Sustainable Homes

Construction at a glance:

Location: Westbourne, West Sussex
Client: Telegraph Construction Management Ltd for The Downland Housing Association & Bolton Retirement Homes Ltd
Build TypeResidential Low Rise & Retirement Homes
No of Units: 36 two storey houses. 18 Affordable Houses and 28 Retirement Homes
Status: Project Completed in February 2010.
Build Duration: 26 weeks on site.
MFS System: H+H Celcon Thin Joint Blockwork using The Rå Build method

Additional build requirements:

  • H+H Celcon ‘Jamara’ Floor Slab System
  • H+H Celcon Foundation Blocks
  • ‘I’ joists
  • Roof trusses
Chantry Hall, Westbourne MFS CosntructionChantry Hall, Westbourne MFS Cosntruction

Project Details

Our Masonry Frame System was deployed throughout all 36 plots, in conjunction with H+H Celcon’s foundation blocks and Celcon Floor System to form the substructures and the ground floor slabs.

Our Masonry Frame System was deployed throughout all 36 plots, in conjunction with H+H Celcon’s foundation blocks and Celcon Floor System to form the substructures and the ground floor slabs.

Phase one consisted of a mix of two storey 2 and 3-bedroom affordable retirement houses. The external cavity walls are constructed with a Thin-Jointed aircrete inner leaf and either brick, flint or cladding to the outer-leaf, topped with a pitched, tiled roof. The foundation and ground floor makes use of the tongue and groove H+H Flooring System and Celcon Foundation Blocks.

The first floors incorporated engineered timber joists by iLevel and roofs constructed with trusses and spandrel panels, designed and manufactured by BSW Timber Systems Ltd. The internal finish is dry lined. Phase two was constructed using the same methodology.

The Rå Build programme for the initial phase of 16 homes from foundations to structural roof completion, took approximately 16 weeks, with some 3,000 m2 of aircrete laid and 900 m2 of the H+H Flooring System installed.

The homes were required to achieve level three in the Code for Sustainable Homes, and the excellent acoustic, thermal and air tightness characteristics inherent with this type of construction contributed greatly towards this. The speed of build was another important factor and the Rå Build method gave impressive time savings over other construction techniques.

All the external finishes are of a traditional appearance in keeping with the surrounding area.

Construction Achievements:

0 weeks
less time on site
Reduction in Labour
Less waste on site
Overall build saving

Key Performance Indicators


  • 16 weeks on site for the 1st 16 units

  • 26 weeks on site


  • 12 weeks less time on site than a traditional build

  • 50% less labour required

  • Over £105k in overall build spend

  • 50% less waste on site

  • Occupation 12 weeks earlier than a traditional build


  • Fire resistant: Excellent 4hrs+

  • Acoustic: Excellent

  • Thermal: Good

  • Green Credentials: A rated


  • Part E & Part L Building regs

MFS Innovations

This was the first ever build to incorporate acoustic wall insulation in a party wall.

MFS Comment

On this project you could not use much more aircrete if you tried. MFS used aircrete for the entire inner skin of the development and for the first time on a commercial development we also used the H+H flooring system with Celcon Foundation Blocks. We specialise in Rå Build and know how easy and fast it is to get an aircrete shell built from dpc, but we were pleasantly surprised with the foundation and floor products. We found the floor very quick to lay great to work off and incredibly flat, providing an excellent base for the rest of the construction.

Norman Hinckes, Director, Masonry Frame Systems

Client Testimonial

We were pleased with the Rå Build approach because having the one shell contractor simplified the process for getting the site underway within agreed time frames. The speed of build is remarkable and in fact the watertight shells were ready so quickly we had to be alert to keep up. We found the Thin-Joint walls provide a very solid and true base for following trades.

Adrian Rolt, Director, Telegraph Construction Management Ltd

Comprised of a Celcon thin joint untied separating wall with a 75mm cavity filled with Isover acoustic insulation, finished with plasterboard on dabs. No render/parge coat on the wall surface was considered necessary with this design. This was aimed at meeting a minimum acoustic performance of 50dB DnTw + Ctr, 5dB above that required by the building regulations, to attract 3 credits under the Code for Sustainable Homes (CfSH). Airborne sound tests undertaken on the properties resulted in performance value of 55-57dB, which in fact is even better than the highest possible credits achievable under the CfSH of 4 credits, where a minimum value of 53dB is required. These are the highest sound reduction test results we have ever achieved.

Doug Harris, H+H UK Research Manager

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