Architectural Masonry – the new kid on the block

The popularity for Architectural Masonry shows no signs of slowing down

Our team of experts have been exploring why cost-effective building materials such as these are supporting developers in achieving a new generation of residential properties.

Whilst concrete masonry blocks have been around for decades, they are usually specified for commercial projects based on their strength, minimal drying shrinkage and low maintenance. However, in more recent years, concrete masonry blocks have been rising in popularity with developers, enabling a real change within the industry in regards to residential developments, particularly throughout London and South England.

We are offering housebuilders the opportunity to replicate the appearance of natural stone, combined with the performance and resilience of commercial developments, concrete masonry blocks are an economical and effective construction method that supports design freedom and delivers uncompromising quality.

With a range of finishes, profiles and shades that cannot be replicated by traditional bricks, our concrete masonry blocks enable the construction of residential properties that create outstanding aesthetics, without causing strain on budgets or resources.

The diverse finishes of our concrete masonry blocks include rugged textures such as Splitface, Shot-blasted and Fairface. These have been designed to emulate the natural appearance of stone to deliver an affordable alternative that gives a high quality finish for the entire lifespan of the property. It also allows new builds to seamlessly blend into their surrounding environments as soon as they are constructed.

 

For more contemporary developments, our smooth concrete masonry blocks that feature delicate finishes are a popular choice for creating sleek exteriors. This includes our Polished Florentine® finish, which is available in a variety of colours.

Concrete masonry blocks can also produce a unified appearance across the entire exterior of a property, as unlike some clay bricks, the blocks have a higher resistance to moisture due to their low dry shrinkage. This means that they can be installed across the whole building fabric, including below DPC level. Low dry shrinkage properties also help reduce the frequency of movement joints installed throughout the masonry wall, with joints required every nine metres externally and every 12.2 metres internally, in ideal conditions.

The combination of functionality and aesthetics is boosted through the proportion of our blocks, which provide increased stability, with one concrete masonry block equating on average to six clay bricks. This aids ease of installation when on site, and at the same time reducing the quantities of mortar needed.

The benefits of our concrete masonry blocks do not stop there. They offer impressive environmental credentials, supporting housebuilders in specifying products that are recognised within the Code for Sustainable Homes and the Green Guide to Specification as an A or A+ rating.

We are supporting housebuilders by taking their commitment to sustainability one step further through our range of concrete masonry products that feature recycled content of up to 20%. This includes our revolutionary Hi-Light® block, which has been designed to provide all of the benefits associated with dense masonry, yet is up to 25% lighter than an equivalent solid masonry unit. This is due to its unique construction, which features a cellular underside, combined with a solid top surface that creates a full bed for mortar.

As developers across the UK continue to set the pace for a new standard of housing that revolutionises the visual and performance capabilities of the building fabric, the specification of concrete masonry blocks can support professionals in achieving the most effective, economical and ecological building exteriors possible.

For further information on our market leading offering of Architectural Masonry, contact our teams or call 01909 775000.

Image credits: Al-Jawad Pike Architects and photographer Ståle Eriksen