The Rå Build method of masonry build using Thin Jointed large format aircrete blocks from H+H was specified for 44 new council dwellings being built by Ashford Borough Council for its exceptional thermal performance, design flexibility and robust durability.

The dwellings were all designed to meet Code Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, and with a “fabric first” approach achieved a very low U-value.

The cavity wall construction used aircrete for the inner leaf and either rendered aircrete or brick for the outer leaf. Contractors Masonry Frame Systems were able to build down to an equivalent wall U-Value of 0.15 W/m2K in a 325mm thick cavity wall construction.

This was achieved by using full fill insulation in the cavity and the thermal benefits of aircrete – including very low psi values – without resorting to enhanced Accredited Construction Details.

The 11 separate developments, which include a mix of apartments, detached and attached housing, are all built on infill sites already owned by the Council. Access in many areas was restricted and this, combined with the need for bespoke designs for each stage of the project, meant that the design flexibility offered by the masonry system was a huge advantage.

Ashford Borough Council believes that this project represents the first development of council-owned housing for council tenants in over 20 years. The Council is keen to expand the project and continue its new-build programme over forthcoming years.