Highwood Group has used H+H’s Thin Joint system of large format aircrete blocks and quick-drying Celfix Mortar to meet a tight programme for the construction of a specialist care home and six assisted living bungalows.

The three-storey care home is built in an arc around landscaped gardens on the site of a former dairy. H+H’s Thin Joint construction enabled the 80-bedroom care home to be completed within a 60 week build-programme.

“We’d moved away from timber frame and we were looking for new ideas that would give us surety of programme and we felt sure that thin joint would do just that,” says Steve Matthews, site manager for Highwood Group.

Thin Joint blocks were used to construct the inner skin of the load-bearing external cavity walls. The 610mm long, 210mm high, 140mm wide Jumbo Plus blocks helped speed construction and enabled the hollowcore, precast concrete planks that form the building’s intermediate floors to be installed directly on to the wall’s inner leaf before the external brickwork had been completed. 100mm wide Thin Joint was also used to construct the internal walls.

“There was a benefit to using Thin Joint: it did go up relatively quickly, which enabled us to construct the blockwork walls to full floor height in the same day,” Matthews says, “but the biggest bonus, in terms of programme, was in taking the external brickwork off the project’s critical path”.

An additional advantage of the Thin Joint system was that the Celfix mortar is supplied pre-mixed in bags. Matthews says: “Using Celfix mortar was a plus because it is mixed adjacent to where the blocks are being laid, so you do not have the logistical challenge of continually moving mortar around the site”.

Following its experience of Thin Joint on this scheme, Highwood Construction has subsequently used Thin Joint on three further projects, including another care home.

“Thin Joint was ideal for this large, three-storey project because it enabled the care home to be built quickly and efficiently to meet a tight construction programme,” says Amos Rodrigues, development manager at H+H.