A relationship built on solid foundations

Housing Thu, Dec 6, 2018 11:01 AM

H+H Celcon Foundation Blocks are being used in a major development in the North West. Jones Homes, a local housebuilder in the North West, is presenting a luxurious new development of 82 predominately detached homes, comprised of four to six bedrooms in the desirable town of Wilmslow, south of Manchester.

They have appointed main groundworks contractor Matthews & Leigh Civil Engineering Ltd, a well-established groundworks firm based in Chorley, Lancashire.

Developer Jones Homes entrusted Matthews & Leigh with the decision on which materials to specify. Some contractors may feel daunted by this level of responsibility, but for Matthews & Leigh it wasn’t a problem.

Company Buyer, Alan Lines explained: “As we already have a fantastic working relationship with H+H, we automatically go to them for our block supply. The decision to go with H+H is based on three main factors: the technical support available, the availability of the blocks and competitive pricing.”

H+H Foundation Blocks were of particular benefit at Bollin Park as Jones Homes design each of their homes with a 150mm cavity, which requires a durable foundation block that is up to the job. Matthews & Leigh chose to specify High Strength Foundation Blocks (340 x 215mm) in 3.6N strength for the two storey homes and 7.2N strength for the three storey homes.

Alan said: “Even when we want the 7.2N strength Celcon Foundation Blocks, which are normally a special order only item, H+H always manage to find us the blocks when we need them. Originally when we started work on site at Bollin Park there were some supply/availability issues with foundation blocks from other suppliers, however H+H have always managed to supply the blocks we need, when we needed them.”

Aircrete is growing in popularity as a masonry material however the perception remains that aircrete blocks cannot be used below DPC level, which means that dense aggregate blocks are needlessly specified, adding to the overall costs of the project. H+H Celcon Foundation Blocks are fully load-bearing and capable of supporting buildings up to three storeys tall.

There are many advantages for housebuilders, not least their ease of use. Requiring only a single leaf of blocks, a solid aircrete block can be laid onto a strip of poured concrete to match the thickness of the wall. This method also requires no mortar at the perpendicular joints; instead they can be butted against each other.

There are also significant cost benefits to be gained from making the switch to aircrete. A study by independent consultancy firm Calfordseaden found that specifying aircrete for foundations alone could reduce total build costs by almost 25%. This is achieved through aircrete’s naturally quicker build speed which leads to reduced labour costs and the solid construction means that fewer materials are needed.

Additional benefits of using BBA certified H+H Celcon Foundation Blocks include improved thermal performance which exceeds current UK Building Regulations, superior resistance to sulfate attack and protection from fire and frost.

H+H prides itself on the levels of customer service it offers, regardless of the size of the order. Alan was frank about the reasons why he continues to use H+H: “If we weren’t satisfied with the level of customer service, we wouldn’t use them. We’ve been with H+H for over three years now and the relationship just gets better each year.

"We’ve never had any problems with H+H, and I don’t envisage us having any issues but if we did, I have no doubt that they would do everything that needed to be done to solve the problem.”

The large site at Bollin Park is progressing well and the first homes were completed in Summer 2018.

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