A new, 2,240m2, religious building near Birmingham is being constructed using a lightweight steel frame structure with H+H Celcon Blocks used as a thermally efficient, durable and fire-resistant infill material.
This structure provides for a large open interior and steelwork was used as the load-bearing structure to provide the large spans required by the design.
Aircrete was chosen as the infill material between the structural steelwork because, according to contractor Vascroft: “It is a versatile, lightweight construction material. Compared with normal (i.e. dense) concrete, aircrete has a low density and excellent insulation properties.”
This structure is designed to last for generations – and the proven lifespan of aircrete blocks was an important factor in its specification. Meeting current building regulations requires a U-value for the external walls of 0.3W/m2K.
This was easily achieved using a cavity wall construction with aircrete on the inner face, brick on the outer face and 100mm of insulation filling the cavity.
A combination of steel frame and aircrete is a commonly used construction method, combining build speed with the robustness of a masonry wall. In this instance, brick is the chosen facing material and the installation of structurally secure wall ties into the aircrete blocks was a standard procedure.
For this project, Standard Grade Celcon Blocks with 10mm standard mortar joints were specified.
This recently new Mandir will provide a centre for the spiritual and community outreach activity of the growing BAPS community in and around Birmingham.