Concrete blocks are the most common structural component in the construction of UK homes, and have been for over 100 years. They provide a well understood, flexible means of building low-cost, durable homes; a combination that so far remains unrivalled by other materials and methods of housing construction. Blocks also offer a number of other useful attributes, such as good acoustic performance, fire and flood resistance, and thermal mass, which helps provide a stable year-round temperature. From an environmental perspective, they are locally produced and can have a high recycled content, giving them low embodied CO2.
There are essentially two types of concrete block: aggregate blocks, which as the name suggests contain aggregates; and aircrete blocks, made from a type of concrete that contains air pores and has no aggregates larger than ground sand. Both types are well suited to housing, and are available in a range of sizes and densities, offering different structural and thermal characteristics. Blocks are manufactured to the BS EN 771 standard and CE marked. All types are fire resistant i.e. classed as non-combustible.
MPA Masonry is part of the Mineral Products Association, the trade association for the aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, dimension stone, lime, mortar and industrial sand industries. www.mineralproducts.org
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