H+H’s Rå Build method of aircrete construction has recently been specified for the 2000th time at a Linden Homes development in Northfields, Colchester, demonstrating the popularity of the system. Originally the build method was to be timber frame, however, the specification changed to aircrete due to the cost saving available.

Craig Hart, MD of specialist contractor Hart Construction explains: ‘Linden Homes was frustrated with timber frame and it was decided that we should use a faster, more robust method and one that was more cost effective. By switching to Rå Build we were able to save in excess of 10% as we can get the inner shell of a masonry home built very quickly.’

The 265 houses and 100 apartments in the second and third phases of Northfields are being constructed using H+H blockwork and Celfix thin joint mortar. The external walls are solid aircrete using 3.6 and 7.3N/mm² 200mm thick Plus Blocks insulated with 150mm EPS insulation finished with a Weber Therm XT render system giving U-values down to 0.19 W/m²K. Separating walls use two leaves of 100mm Jumbo Bloks, complying with Robust Detail E-WM-10.

The Rå Build method uses the fast setting Thin Joint system with large format blocks to build the inner aircrete leaf directly to full storey heights - with intermediate floors and roof installed - ahead of the external brickwork or cladding. This provides a fast, stable and weatherproof shell, allowing first fix trades early access whilst the external cladding is completed. Further time is saved by the use of retrofitted joist hangers, avoiding any block cutting at floor level, and enhancing air permeability levels.

The housing scheme is set within a new sustainable neighbourhood to provide new homes, an attractive open park and school with useful transport links for the local community. The homes will be offered for private sale, some under the Government’s NewBuy scheme, with an additional allocation for social housing.

Craig continues, ‘We have worked with H+H for over 13 years and we are always impressed with the results that can be achieved with their product. The work being carried out at Linden Homes, Northfields has only confirmed my high opinion of the company.’

Properties available at Linden Homes, Northfields include ‘The Ardleigh’ a two bedroom-terraced house and ‘The Farnham’ a three bedroom-terraced house. Both styles have an open plan layout with a separate kitchen area and additional sliding door access to the rear garden. There is a three bedroom - detached house style available with a similar layout. The development also features Waltham Place, a three-storey apartment building consisting of private apartments, ranging from studio flats to two bedroom flats.