G J EDGELL
CERAM Building Technology
In the 1980’s a significant amount of research was carried out into the performance of brickwork walls made of standard format UK bricks, general purpose mortar and with thermal insulation and plasterboard bonded to the inner face. The innovation was in the detail in that any water which permeated the outer skin would run down a nominal cavity between the brickwork and the thermal insulation which existed because of the tolerances on brick thickness, thickness of glue dabs and protruding mortar. Carefully designed drainage details removed the water at weep holes at the base of the wall. Several houses were built at the time but it was not a commercial success.
Advances in thermal insulation standards have led to the system being reconsidered. Research has been carried out on walls made from a new format unit (290 x 140 x 65mm, l x w x h) which provides improved stability during construction. The new wall thickness lends itself to improved connections between timber floors and walls and also it is compatible with a pile and ground beam foundation system.
A demonstration house has been built and has performed extremely well, reviews in the technical press have been favourable and some four hundred design guides have been requested by interested architects.