Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust’s Derwenthorpe low-carbon community, built with H+H’s Thin Joint System, has scooped the coveted Best Affordable Housing Development Award 2017 in the Inside Housing Development Awards 2017.

The 540-home mixed tenure development with associated Energy Centre is situated on the outskirts of Osbaldwick village near York. Delivering eco-friendly homes was a key priority for the project so finding an environmentally friendly solution was essential.

H+H, the UK’s largest manufacturer of aircrete, provides its Thin-Joint System as a combination of aircrete blocks with Celfix Mortar, producing masonry with a 3mm joint rather than the standard 10mm, speeding up the build process and reducing thermal bridging.

Housebuilder Barratt are familiar with both traditional and thin-joint methods of masonry and architect Studio Partington had previously used the Thin-Joint System. They were confident it could rise to the challenge of achieving the advanced U-values and providing a high-quality build. A successful on-site prototype proved that the Thin-Joint System could be used to meet the high environmental standards the project demanded.

The demand for ever-increasing energy efficiency is particularly strong in the public sector, where the need to cut carbon emissions is combined with a focus on minimising energy costs for tenants.  Approaching these twin objectives with a fabric-first solution requires builders to minimise the amount of heat lost through construction details - the minimal joint thickness achieved with H+H’s Thin-Joint System allows for maximum airtightness and maximum thermal performance.