Products > Blocks

RIBA Core Curriculum
- Design, construction and technology

Knowledge level
- General Awareness

A modern construction method with the reassuringly traditional values of clay

This course provide an overview of the Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) options for walling systems. It reviews the environmental impacts of different walling systems and covers Construction Design and Management (CDM) benefits, as well as safer site traffic management. The CPD also highlights the relevant current legislation that should be considered.

In this section
- What is Porotherm?
- The benefits of using a thin joint system
- Sustainable construction

            
                    
Navigate through each step of the CPD using the left and right arrows to review the content. At the end of each section are some questions, these are required if you wish to obtain a certificate upon completing the course.                     
                                     
            
    

What is Porotherm?

Porotherm_1

Porotherm is a multi-cellular clay walling system that uses precision engineered blocks. The horizontal faces are ground to +/- 0.3 mm tolerances.

It uses a modern jointing method and bespoke components designed to make it quick and cost effective to use.

Porotherm_4
Typical Core Range Usage: Cavity
Movement_5
Typical Core Range Usage: Monolithic

Benefits

Porotherm_28

Fast

Porotherm doesn’t require mortar in vertical joints, with the blocks interlocking mechanically. The 1 mm beds and minimal use of bed joint mix reduces preparation time and wastage.

The maximum storey height capability, without the need to back up, allows the project plan’s critical path to be more flexible for the external envelope.

Fast

Porotherm can be utilised much earlier in the construction programme as it is less affected by the weather. It is so efficient to use that it rivals timber frame in terms of the speed of construction.

Using multi cellular clay blocks can allow parallel working for internal and external trades early in the project, reducing overall build times.

Dry

Multi cellular clay blocks have around 95% less water built in, reducing the time to get a project to a water-tight shell and allowing quicker availability for finishing trades.

Water comparison based upon a typical House of 212 m²

Concrete Block: 1,060 litres

POROTHERM: 72 litres

Efficient

Porotherm_8

Efficient

The thermal mass of multi cellular clay blocks helps to regulate variations in internal temperature. Air-tightness can be maximised with the use of a parge coat or wet plaster.

Robust Detail E-WM-25

  • 2 x 100 mm Porotherm
  • 100 mm full filled cavity with mineral wool or batts (<20kg/m³)
  • Ancon Type A wall ties
  • Eco Parge nominal 3 – 4 mm
  • Gypsum based board on dabs

Porotherm_9

Efficient

All Code for Sustainable Homes levels can be achieved using multi cellular clay blocks. They provide outstanding fire resistance with a 100 mm wall giving a Class A1 rating.

The breathability of the clay block walling systems assist in regulating humidity within a building, helping to promote a healthy living climate.

Due to the dryness, there is also no moisture shrinkage. The kiln fired clay does not shrink or disrupt finishes, which can result in fewer movement joints and less risk of cracking.

 

Strong

Porotherm_13

Strong

The core range compressive strengths typically ≥ 10 N/ mm². Due to this there is less need to keep multiple block types on site and a reduced risk of the incorrect block being used in the wrong location. It also reduces storage requirements on sites where space is limited.

Safe

porotherm-roller
Porotherm thin mortar application with a specialist roller

Safe

Mortar can be mixed local to workplace with minimal cement being required.

A specially developed roller applicator reduces skin contact with bed joint mix, reducing the risk of dermatological damage.

Clay is also a natural inert material and so it is non-hazardous to both people and the wider ecology.

Energy efficient construction

Porotherm_14

Energy efficient construction

“Building use in the UK contributes approx. 50% of the UK’s CO2 emissions. Construction contributes approx. another 7%”

How Multi Cellular Clay Blocks can assist:

  • Less embodied energy due to reduced firing temperature.
  • Psi values within the building envelope demonstrated an improvement over traditional construction methods
  • Increased building fabric efficiency can reduce the need for additional ‘bolt on’ enhancements
  • High thermal mass
  • Lucideon tested air tightness maximised through parge coat or wet plaster

Waste management

Porotherm_15

Waste management

How Multi Cellular Clay Blocks can assist:

  • Design provides maximum build volume for minimum material usage
  • Average 2% wastage provision for blocks
  • Controlled application of bed joint mortar gives absolute minimal wastage
  • Mortar mixed in small quantities local to laying, reducing wastage
  • Inert blocks recyclable following life cycle conclusion – i.e. hardcore

Sustainable construction

TechConsideration10
Sustainability

Sustainable construction

“Sustainable construction includes how developments impact on, and provide for, the surrounding infrastructure and natural environment, in addition to the fabric of buildings”

How Multi Cellular Clay Blocks can assist:

  • 30% materials from alternative, recycled or secondary sources (MARSS)
  • Life expectancy in excess of 150 years
  • Blocks recyclable at life cycle conclusion – e.g. hardcore
  • A+ BRE Green Guide

Ask a Question about this CPD




CPD Q&A

You’ve reached the end of the CPD. To make sure you’ve taken on board the key learnings of this course, please fill out the quick multiple choice Q&A below. This will certify that you have completed the CPD and provide you with an email certificate, which, if the course is accredited, you can share with RIBA.

Question

Which of these does not descibe Porotherm?

CORRECT

Well done!
You can move on to the
next CPD question.

INCORRECT

Whoops!
You might want to reread our
course content.

arrow_upward
RECAP

Question

For a typical house of 212 m², water comparison for concrete blocks is 1,060 litres. What is the equivalent for Porotherm?

CORRECT

Well done!
You can move on to the
next CPD question.

INCORRECT

Whoops!
You might want to reread our
course content.

arrow_upward
RECAP

Question

What is the percentage of materials from alternative, recycled or secondary sources (MARSS) for Porotherm?

CORRECT

Well done!
You can move on to the
next CPD question.

INCORRECT

Whoops!
You might want to reread our
course content.

arrow_upward
RECAP
arrow_upward
BACK TO TOP