H+H’s Standard Grade 440 x 215 x 100mm and 140mm thick 3.6N aircrete blocks have been installed at the Newbury Parkway Shopping Centre, providing a robust shell in a mix of solid, single skin and cavity walls. Situated in Berkshire and designed by BDP architects, the retail park forms part of a new town centre for the local community. H+H blocks were used due to aircrete’s inherent qualities as a material.

Chris Hernon, leading project architect explains: ‘Primarily, H+H blocks were specified for their light weight qualities and for their ability to make a building with very low air leakage. Air tightness tests results achieved 1.11 W/m²K. Aircrete produces far superior results to concrete as an additional painted coating would be required to improve the overall air tightness, something we did not need to do.”

Site Manager at Newbury Parkway, Ian Bleach of Lee Marley Brickwork adds: ‘This has been my first experience of using H+H blocks on this type of project and I would definitely use them again. We find that Celcon Blocks are easier to use than concrete as each aircete block weighs far less than equivalents. The light weight quality of Celcon Blocks means that a greater quantity can be loaded to the working area including the scaffold. Other advantages are that the operatives do not tire out as easily.’

Ian continues: ‘H+H were very supportive throughout the course of the project and everything arrived exactly when we wanted it. We received brilliant technical support from H+H’s Ian Lathbury and it was a very successful job.’

Newbury Parkway shopping centre will include 27,000 m² of retail and restaurant facilities, 734 car parking spaces and 184 apartments. The retail sector will feature a range of leading high street chains including Debenhams and M&S. Newbury is often surveyed as one of the best places to live in Britain and the new development will only add to this sentiment.

Work began on the £100 million retail development in September 2008 and was completed for the grand opening in October 2011.