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Designing and Building with Aircrete

Build with ease


02 Structural Design
10 Foundation Blocks

11 External Walls
13 Internal Walls
14 Movement Control
17 Regulations (acoustics)
18 Acoustic Compliance
Robust Details for
Acoustic Compliance
22 Fire Resistance
23 CDM Regulations
24 Good Site Practice
26 External Applied Finishes
30 Internal Applied Finishes
33 Wall Fixings

Aircrete /aerkri:t/ noun., adj.

1. autoclaved, aerated concrete (AAC) 2. (cel)lular (con)
crete (CELCON). One of the lightest forms of concrete
with structural, thermal, sound, fire and freeze/thaw
properties, extensively used in Europe where known as
‘gasbeton’. Used in the UK since the 1950s; today known
as ‘aircrete’. Comprises pulverised fuel ash (PFA), sand,
cement, aluminium powder, lime and water. Used as
blocks in a range of thicknesses and face formats for
internal and external walls above and below dpc and as
infill in beam and block floors; used as a material for
reinforced floor elements.

In this guide we have brought together the two areas

for using aircrete, the Design process and Building.
The first section looks at the Design elements needed
to create successful masonry structures and the
second how to Build successfully.

Designing with Aircrete Building with Aircrete Most blocks are available in a wide
This has been written to help This part of the guide has been range of thicknesses from 100mm
architects and specifiers achieve the written to emphasise the practical to 355mm and have the following
most efficient designs using H+H use and application of H+H face dimensions:
UK products, whether for low-rise UK products.
housing or multi storey buildings. Celcon Blocks all grades
This includes detailed guidance on: 440 x 215mm
There is detail on Structural Design stacking and storage, recommended
when building Low Rise Housing mortar types and strength, laying Celcon Plus Blocks all grades
(up to three storeys), designing blocks, cutting, chasing and fixing 630 x 215mm
with higher strength blockwork to blocks, applying internal and
and Eurocode 6. Also included is external finishes. Jumbo Bloks all grades
information on H+H product, from 630 x 250mm
below DPC to roof level, together H+H Aircrete
with their characteristics and uses. All H+H aircrete is strong and Multi Plate Blocks all grades
lightweight and easy to work with. (except Solar Grade)
The guide also includes notes Most thicknesses are well below 630 x 350mm
on using aircrete in cavity, solid, 20 kg, the CONIAC regulation limit
internal and separating walls. for single-handed, repetitive lifting. Foundation Blocks all grades
Accommodation of movement, They are available for use in (except Solar Grade)
the positioning of joist hangers, four grades. 325 x 215mm and 440 x 215mm
restraining straps, wall ties and
lintels, along with using aircrete All H+H aircrete products can be Note
with dissimilar materials are also finished with render, tile hanging A range of detailed drawings and
highlighted in this document. or decorative cladding. They are BIM objects are available on our
available in Solar Grade, Standard website www.hhcelcon.co.uk
Grade, High Strength Grade and
Super Strength Grade, complying The latest Material Safety Data
with European product standard information can also be found
BS EN771-4 for aircrete masonry on our website.
units. Standard Grade, High
Strength Grade and Super Strength For more information please
Grade blocks are principally for contact our Technical Department
wall constructions both above and on 01732 880580 or our
below DPC. Solar Grade offers Sales Team on 01732 886444.
enhanced thermal performance and
is principally used for the inner
leaves of external cavity walls and
for solid walls.

www.hhcelcon.co.uk Sales 01732 886444 Technical 01732 880580

Designing with Aircrete

Structural Design

Design of Low Rise Housing These give block strength

The following documents set out requirements for certain types
simple design guidance for low of buildings in accordance with
rise housing: European Standards. H+H products
are manufactured to meet the
The Building Regulations requirements of the above
Approved Document ‘A’ for documents.
England and Wales.
The general structural requirements
Small Buildings Structural of these documents are
Guidance document for the
summarised (drawing 1), where for
Building (Scotland) Regulations.
two storey housing the minimum
BS 8103-2 (Structural design of strength for blocks is 2.9N/mm 2

low rise buildings – Part 2 Code and for three storey housing, the
of Practice for Masonry Walls lowest storey is 7.3N/mm , whilst2

for housing).
2.9N/mm is retained at the two

upper levels. Thus, all grades of

Declared Compressive Strength Values of H+H Aircrete

Solar Standard High Strength Super Strength

Grade Grade Grade Grade

BS EN 771-4 2.9N/mm2 3.6N/mm2 7.3N/mm2 8.7N/mm2

Key: Min strength Notes

1. If Hs is not more than 2.7m, the compressive strength of blocks used in the wall should
A 2.9N/mm2 where Hs is 2.7m max be as indicated by the key.
2. If Hs is more than 2.7m, the compressive strength of blocks used in the wall should be
at least Condition B, or as indicated by the key whichever is greater.
A/B Hf less than or equal to 1m – 2.9N/mm2
3. If the external wall is solid construction, the blocks should have a compressive strength
Hf greater than 1m – 7.3N/mm2 of at least that shown for the internal leaf of a cavity wall in the same position.
4. Timber roof construction, 12m max span.
B & C 7.3N/mm2
5. Timber or concrete floor, 6m max span.
6. Wall lengths 12m max.

This diagram is taken from Figure 12 and Table 5 of BS 8103-2

H+H aircrete can be used where Designing with Higher For designs to BS5628, the
2.9N/mm blocks are shown
Strength Blockwork characteristic compressive
(drawing 1) and blocks from the When designing in accordance with strength of masonry, fk, should
higher strength grades range can BS-5628-1 or Eurocode 6, account be obtained from Tables 2a - 2h
be used at the lower storey of a will be taken of a number of factors. (based on mortar strength and size
three-storey building. It should To calculate how much load any of masonry unit). Given below in
be remembered that structural given wall can take, the following Table 1 are values interpolated from
calculations can still be carried out, are considered: BS5628 Table 2 which are relevant
which may lead to a more to walls constructed with H+H
economical solution. 1. The basic strength of the aircrete blocks.
masonry (fk), which will depend
Where the layout of the dwelling is on the block size, block strength
outside this guidance or it is greater and mortar strength.
than three storeys, a structural design 2. The material safety factor
calculation is necessary. and the quality control of the
blocks used as well as the site
The requirements for workmanship.
disproportionate collapse effectively 3. The wall configuration (which is
limit masonry constructions to four independent of the block type).
storeys. Aircrete can of course be
used for infill blockwork to multi-
storey framed buildings.

Table 1
Characteristic Compressive Strength, fk, of Masonry (to BS5628:Pt1) for H+H Aircrete Blocks

Designation (iii) / M4 Mortar Celfix Thin Layer Mortar

Block Block Type Block Type
(declared compressive strength) (declared compressive strength)

High Super High Super

Solar Standard Strength Strength Solar Standard Strength Strength
Height Thickness H/t (2.9) (3.6) (7.3) (8.7) (2.9) (3.6) (7.3) (8.7)
140 215 0.65 1.5 1.8 3.3 3.7 1.5 1.8 3.5 4.0
300 0.47 1.3 1.5 2.9 3.3 1.3 1.5 3.1 3.5
350 0.40 1.2 1.4 2.7 3.1 1.2 1.4 2.9 3.3
215 75 2.87 2.8 3.5 6.4 7.2 2.8 3.5 6.8 7.7
100 2.15 2.8 3.5 6.4 7.2 2.8 3.5 6.8 7.7
140 1.54 2.3 2.9 5.3 6.0 2.3 2.9 5.7 6.4
150 1.43 2.2 2.8 5.1 5.8 2.2 2.8 5.4 6.1
200 1.08 1.9 2.3 4.3 4.8 1.9 2.3 4.6 5.2
215 1.00 1.8 2.2 4.1 4.6 1.8 2.2 4.4 4.9
275 0.78 1.6 1.9 3.6 4.1 1.6 1.9 3.8 4.3
300 0.72 1.5 1.8 3.5 3.9 1.5 1.8 3.7 4.2
325 0.66 1.5 1.8 3.3 3.8 1.5 1.8 3.5 4.0
350 0.61 1.4 1.7 3.2 3.6 1.4 1.7 3.4 3.9
250 100 2.50 - - - - 2.8 3.5 6.8 7.7
140 1.79 - - - - 2.6 3.2 6.3 7.1
350 100 3.50 - - - - 2.8 3.5 6.8 7.7

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Designing with Aircrete

Structural Design continued

Design to EC6 manufacturers in the UK are mean

Given the vast array of different air dry strengths for the complete
materials, sizes and shapes of units brick or block unit (eg for H+H
available across Europe, it was aircrete 2.9, 3.6, 7.3 and 8.7N/mm²).
decided when developing EC6 that Compressive strengths are given
a single formula approach would be in N/mm², ie it is the compressive
more viable than a tabulated one. stress of material. The thickness of
However, in order for this to work, the blocks are therefore irrelevant
the compressive strength of each (although a 140mm thick block
unit would have to be standardised will obviously carry more load than
or ‘normalised’. The normalised a 100mm block by virtue of its
mean compressive strength, fb, used greater area). In order to obtain the
in EC6 is the compressive strength normalised strength, the declared
of an air dry 100mm cube of a mean strengths will need to be
masonry unit. multiplied by a shape factor relative
to the size of the unit.
Normalised compressive strength,
fb, of blocks The value of the shape factor
The normalised compressive is given in Table A.1 of EN 772-1
strength of a masonry unit is a (relevant values applicable to H+H
calculated value used to determine blocks have been interpolated and
the wall strength and should not be are given in Table 2).
confused with the declared mean
compressive strength of a block Although it appears that
which is a measured property. compressive strength varies with
The values currently declared by size, it is worth noting that it is not
the strength of the masonry unit
which alters with its size but merely
Table 2 the effect it has on the overall
Normalised Compressive Strengths, fb, for H+H Aircrete Blocks in N/mm² strength of the wall into which
is built.
Block Block Type
(declared compressive strength, N/mm²)
The characteristic compressive
strength of masonry designed to
High Super
Shape Solar Standard Strength Strength
BS EN 1996-1 is given by
Height Thickness factor (2.9) (3.6) (7.3) (8.7)
fk = K . fbα . fmβ
140 215 0.95 2.7 3.4 6.9 8.2
250 + 0.91 2.6 3.3 6.6 7.9 Where fb is the normalised
215 75 1.43 4.1 5.1 10.4 12.4 compressive strength of the unit, fm
100 1.38 4.0 5.0 10.1 12.0 is the mortar strength (not greater
than fb) and K, α and β are constants
140 1.30 3.8 4.7 9.5 11.3
taken from the UK National Annex.
150 1.28 3.7 4.6 9.3 11.1
200 1.18 3.4 4.2 8.6 10.3 Table 3 gives calculated fk values
215 1.16 3.4 4.2 8.5 10.1 for walls built using H+H aircrete
of different sizes in both traditional
250 + 1.12 3.2 4.0 8.1 9.7
mortar and Celfix thin layer mortar.
250 100 1.45 4.2 5.2 10.6 12.6
140 1.37 4.0 4.9 10.0 11.9
350 100 1.45 4.2 5.2 10.6 12.6
Table 3
Characteristic Compressive Strength, fk, of Masonry (to EC 6) for H+H Aircrete Blocks in N/mm²

Designation (iii) / M4 Mortar Celfix Thin Layer Mortar

(K = 0.75, α = 0.7, β = 0.3, fm = 4N/mm²) (K = 0.9, α = 0.85, β = 0, fm = 10N/mm²)
Block Block Type Block Type
(declared compressive strength, N/mm²) (declared compressive strength, N/mm²)

High Super High Super

Solar Standard Strength Strength Solar Standard Strength Strength
Height Thickness (2.9) (3.6) (7.3) (8.7) (2.9) (3.6) (7.3) (8.7)
140 215 2.3 2.7 4.4 5.0 2.1 2.5 4.6 5.4
250 + 2.2 2.6 4.3 4.8 2.0 2.5 4.5 5.2
215 75 2.9 3.6 5.9 6.6 2.9 3.6 6.6 7.6
100 2.9 3.5 5.7 6.5 2.9 3.5 6.4 7.4
140 2.9 3.4 5.5 6.2 2.8 3.4 6.1 7.1
150 2.8 3.3 5.4 6.1 2.7 3.3 6.0 7.0
200 2.7 3.1 5.1 5.8 2.5 3.0 5.6 6.5
215 2.7 3.1 5.1 5.7 2.5 3.0 5.5 6.4
250 + 2.6 3.0 4.9 5.6 2.4 2.9 5.3 6.2
250 100 - - - - 2.9 3.6 6.7 7.8
140 - - - - 2.9 3.5 6.4 7.4
350 100 - - - - 2.9 3.6 6.7 7.8

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Designing with Aircrete

Structural Design continued

Characteristic flexural Strength produced to BS EN 998-2 which

of Masonry enables the utilisation of special
The design for lateral load in EC 6 category of construction control
is based on UK design practice and (Class 1 execution control in EC6).
is similar to BS5628:Pt 1 with the
values for characteristic flexural These two factors combined mean
strength in the National Annex being that a reduced partial safety factor,
identical to the values BS5628. γm, of 2.5 (BS 5628:Pt1 Table 4) may
Interpolated figures relevant to H+H be used for both compression and
aircrete are given in Table 4. flexure when designing to
BS 5628 (see Table 5).
Effect of Partial Safety Factors
Both compressive and flexural This can be equivalent to an
design strengths incorporate a additional improvement of at
material partial safety factor in least 20% to wall strength when
their determination. H+H High compared to the safety factors
Strength (7.3N/mm²) and Super of 3.1 or 3.5 normally assumed.
Strength (8.7N/mm²) blocks are
manufactured to special category Standard (3.6N/mm²) and Solar
of manufacturing control (2.9N/mm²) blocks are normal
(ie Category I) which permits a category (Category II), therefore
reduced material partial safety a slightly higher safety factor of
factor to be used in design 2.8 applies to compressive strength
calculations. Furthermore, our although 2.5 is still applicable
Celfix thin layer mortar is factory for flexure.

Table 4
Characteristic Flexural Strength, fxk1 and fxk2, of Masonry to EC 6 for H+H Aircrete Blocks in N/mm²

Values of fxk1 Values of fxk2

Plane of failure parallel to bed joints Plane of failure parallel to bed joints

Block Block Type Block Type

(declared compressive strength, N/mm²) (declared compressive strength, N/mm²)

High Super High Super

Solar Standard Strength Strength Solar Standard Strength Strength
Thickness (mm) (2.9) (3.6) (7.3) (8.7) (2.9) (3.6) (7.3) (8.7)
75 0.25 0.40 0.45 0.60 0.60
100 0.25 0.40 0.45 0.60 0.60
140 0.22 0.36 0.40 0.53 0.53
150 0.22 0.35 0.38 0.52 0.52
200 0.18 0.30 0.32 0.43 0.43
215 0.17 0.29 0.30 0.41 0.41
250 + 0.15 0.25 0.25 0.35 0.35
Values applicable to walls built with both traditional M4 mortar or H+H Celfix thin layer mortar
Table 5
Partial Safety Factors for Material Strength γM from BS5628:Pt 1 Table 4

Grade of H+H Aircrete Category of Category of Construction Control

Manufacturing Control
Traditional Mortar H+H Celfix
Special Normal Thin Layer Mortar *
Super Strength (8.7N.mm²)
Category I 2.5 3.1 2.5
High Strength (7.3N.mm²)
Compression, γM
Standard (3.6N.mm²)
Category II 2.8 3.5 2.8
Solar (2.9N.mm²)
Super Strength (8.7N.mm²)
Category I
High Strength (7.3N.mm²)
Flexure, γM 2.5 3.0 2.5
Standard (3.6N.mm²)
Category II
Solar (2.9N.mm²)
* Use of H+H Celfix thin layer mortar would enable Special category of construction control to be assumed
Designing with Aircrete

Structural Design continued

For designs to EC6, the UK National Restraint and Connections

Annex offers similar, though less Walls should be adequately
pronounced, benefits. Values for γM restrained at the level of intermediate
for the ultimate limit state are given floors and at the roof. Detailed
in Table NA.1 of the National Annex guidance is contained in Building
(see Table 6). Regulations Approval Document
A, Small Buildings Structural
In addition, it offers advantages to Guidance Document for the Building
designers with regards to safety (Scotland) Regulations, BS8103-1,
factors where the masonry is an infill Eurocode 6 and PD6697:2010.
panel to a framed structure. Panels
within a framed structure can be Where floor joists bear onto the
classified as being in ‘laterally supporting walls and joist hangers
loaded wall panel when the removal have not been specified, then cut
of the panel would not affect the aircrete or H+H Coursing Units
overall stability of the building’. should be used to infill between the
joists. All H+H blocks can easily be
Further guidance on structural cut to size on site.
design using Eurocode 6, including
worked examples, can be found at

Table 6
Partial Safety Factors for Material Strength γM from NA to BS EN 1996-1-1, Table NA.1

Grade of H+H Aircrete Category of Class of Execution Control

Manufacturing Control
Traditional Mortar H+H Celfix
1 2 Thin Layer Mortar *
Super Strength (8.7N.mm²)
Category I 2.3 2.7 2.3
High Strength (7.3N.mm²)
Compression, γM
Standard (3.6N.mm²)
Category II 2.6 3.0 2.6
Solar (2.9N.mm²)

Super Strength (8.7N.mm²)

Flexure, γM
(when removal Category I
High Strength (7.3N.mm²)
of panel would
2.3 2.7 2.3
affect overall Standard (3.6N.mm²)
stability of the Category II
building) Solar (2.9N.mm²)

Super Strength (8.7N.mm²)

Flexure, γM
(when removal Category I
High Strength (7.3N.mm²)
of panel would
2.0 2.4 2.0
not affect overall Standard (3.6N.mm²)
stability of the Category II
building) Solar (2.9N.mm²)

* Use of H+H Celfix thin layer mortar would enable Class 1 execution control to be assumed
Where joists run parallel to the When hangers are to be built in, For roof and/or wall connections
wall, the three joists nearest the care should be taken to ensure at gables and at separating walls,
wall should be connected to it by their back plates are tight against restraint straps of the same
suitable metal restraint straps and the surface of the wall (drawing 3). specification installed as described
located at maximum 2m centres, in Also, in accordance with the hanger previously, should be used. These
line with the documents on oposite manufacturer’s recommendations, straps should be positioned at
page. These straps should have the hanger flanges must be held maximum 2m centres at rafter
an anchorage turn-down at the in position by a sufficient height (gable verge line) level and at truss
wall face of at least 100mm and of masonry above. Restraint type tie (ceiling) level.
there should be diagonal strutting hangers should be provided every
between the three joists. In order 2m OR restraint straps provided For further guidance see Section
that the restraining straps are able at maximum 2m centres. The 1c of Approved Document A to the
to act in compression as well as masonry above the hangers should Building Regulations (England &
in tension, there should also be be allowed to mature adequately Wales) and BS 8103-2.
adequate packing fixed between the before the hangers are loaded.
wall and the first joist (drawing 2).
As an alternative, when using Thin
Joist Hangers Jointed H+H aircrete, proprietary
Where joist hangers are used, joist hangers may be retrofitted
they should comply with in to the face of previously
BS EN 845-1. The type and size of built blockwork. This method
hanger must be selected to suit the compliments the speed and quality
span and dimensions of the joist to of the thin joint blockwork method
be supported. Suitable proprietary of construction. Further details
types are available to suit all and guidance on installation may
aircrete strengths. be obtained from our Technical
Department. Retrofitted hangers
are not suitable for use with
traditional mortars.

2 3
Designing with Aircrete

Foundation Blocks

Cavity Foundation Walls freeze/thaw conditions likely to occur

(drawings 4 and 5) below ground level (BBA method of
H+H aircrete can be used for both the assessment and test, MOAT 12).
internal and external leaves of cavity
foundations. Where external finishes, such as
render, are terminated at DPC,
Solid Foundation Walls exposed aircrete should be protected
(drawings 6 and 7) using bituminous paint, suitable
Foundation Blocks of 215mm for external use, or similar surface
thickness and upwards can be used for coating, applied from 150mm below
solid foundation walls. The foundation soil level up to DPC (drawings 6
blocks used should be at least the and 7).
thickness of the wall it supports.
Soil Conditions
Omission of Mortar from the Vertical The raw materials used in the
Cross-Joints (perpends) production of H+H Foundation
in Solid Foundations Blocks give them excellent resistance
A wall below ground level which is to sulfate attack and frost damage,
backfilled both sides is not subject to making them ideal for use below
any of the lateral loads, which could ground in soil conditions unsuitable
apply above ground and may be laid for many other types of masonry.
with mortared horizontal bed joints Sulfates in clay soils and associated
and then simply butted together. This ground water are defined in BRE
is confirmed in the Building Research Special Digest 1, 2005 table 2. BBA
Establishment (BRE) Information certificate 01/3816 confirms that
Paper (IP) 7/05; ‘…for below-ground H+H aircrete can be used in classes
construction – unless the masonry up to and including DS4. Building
forms a retaining wall or basement control should be able to advise on
walls – plain-ended units can be used local soil conditions and whether the
with unfilled vertical joints so long soil/ground water conditions require
as the units are built with their ends further advice.
closely butted together to stop the
passage of vermin.’ Improved Thermal Insulation
The use of H+H aircrete in foundation
Frost Resistance walls helps reduce the heat loss from
H+H Foundation Blocks have ground floors (U-value) and more
exceptionally good frost resistance. importantly, significantly reduces
BBA appraisal includes assessment linear thermal bridging at the floor
of the resistance of the blocks to the junction (psi value).

4 5 6 7
10 + 11

External Walls

Solid walls Loadbearing

Due to aircrete’s closed cell For the loadbearing inner leaf
structure it has an excellent aircrete offers a choice of solutions
resistance to water penetration, and strengths:
therefore enabling it to be used in
the construction of solid external Two storey housing – Solar
walls. This is recognised in: Grade 2.9N/mm2 and Standard
Grade 3.6N/mm2 grade blocks
are normally more than
Approved Document C. adequate to meet structural
PD6697 where for conditions requirements.
up to and including severe Multi-storey construction walls
exposure (exposure zone 3), or piers under high vertical
rendered 215mm H+H aircrete loads – higher strength blocks
is acceptable where similar may be required.
walls of brick or dense
concrete masonry would For further information,
need to be thicker. see drawing 1 on page 2.
This is also confirmed in our
BBA Certificate 01/3816. Wall Ties
Wall ties should be adequately
Cavity Walls stiff yet sufficiently flexible to allow
In an external cavity wall some relative movement between
construction, each leaf the two leaves. The type of tie will Additional ties should be provided
predominately meets specific depend on the cavity width. Ties in the following situations:
requirements. The external leaf should conform to BS EN 845-1.
protects the structure from the For further advice contact our Within 225mm of the vertical
penetration of moisture, whilst Technical Services Department. edge of all window and door
the inner leaf provides the main openings (drawings 8 + 9).
structural support of the building. In external cavity walls, ties should At vertical unreturned edges,
H+H aircrete fulfils both of have a minimum embedment of including movement joints.
these requirements. 50mm into each leaf. For walls
At sloping unreturned edges,
in which both leaves are 90mm
such as at the roof verge
or thicker, the ties should be at (drawing 10).
a maximum spacing of 900mm
horizontally and 450mm vertically, At narrow piers.
(density of 2.5 ties/m2), and the
See Eurocode 6 and PD6697
ties should be evenly distributed
for further details.
over the wall area, normally in a
staggered pattern.

8 9 10
Not greater
Not greater than 225mm
Not greater
than 225mm
than 225mm


Wall tie
spacing not
greater than
Wall tie
Wall tie spacing not
spacing not greater than
Not greater than greater than 300mm
900mm centres 300mm

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Designing with Aircrete

External Walls continued

Lintels Lintels for Solid Walls

Blockwork should be set out to Aircrete can easily be chased-out
ensure that, wherever possible, on site to accommodate proprietary
all lintels bear upon full blocks, metal lintels (drawing 13).
not onto a short length of cut Alternatively, for wider solid walls,
block (Eurocode 6). The bearing cavity type lintels can be used
should normally be at least 150mm within 100mm blocks laid either
in length. side of the upstand.

Where stresses under lintel bearings Lintels for Internal Partition Walls
are likely to exceed permissible Light-duty lintels may be used when
values or where there are large opening widths and loadings permit.
concentrated loads, concrete
spreaders or padstones should
be incorporated (drawing 11).

In accordance with general good

practice when using thin-joint the
provision of a slip plane between
one end of the lintel and the bearing
is advised (drawing 12).

11 12 13

where necessary

For clarity additional insulation not shown For clarity additional insulation not shown
Internal Walls

Limiting Dimensions for Internal Non-Loadbearing Walls

Minimum Block Thickness (mm)*

Length (m)
Height (m) 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

2.4 75 75 75 75 75 75 100
2.7 75 75 75 75 75 100 100
3.0 75 75 75 75 100 100 100
Walls restrained
at both ends and top. 3.3 75 75 75 100 100 100 100
4.0 100 100 100 100 100 100 140
6.0 100 140 140 140 140 140 140

Minimum Block Thickness (mm)* Deflection head

Length (m) Where a non-loadbearing internal
Height (m) 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
wall is below a floor which is likely
to experience deflection or thermal
2.4 75 100 100 140 140 140 140 movement, provision should be
2.7 75 100 100 140 140 140 140 made at the head of the wall to
avoid such movement placing
Walls restrained 3.0 75 100 100 140 140 150 200
at both ends. a load on the wall (drawing 14).
3.3 75 100 100 140 140 150 200
4.0 100 100 140 140 140 200 200
6.0 100 140 140 140 150 200 200
These figures have been developed by H+H and
calculated in accordance with BS EN 1996-3 (Annex B).
* For plastered finishes, the block thickness shown
Wall block thickness (mm) Maximum height (m) for panel of any length may be reduced by the thickness of plaster.
Plastered** Unplastered ** 2 x 13mm of plaster assumed.

For further information please contact the H+H

100 3.75 3.0 Technical Department. Consideration should be given
where appropriate to the following factors:
140 4.95 4.2
a) the effects of architectural features such as
150 5.25 4.5 openings, chases etc.
b) the accommodation of movement.
215 6.0 6.0 c) any temporary support which may be required prior
Walls restrained to plastering
at top.


Clearance to allow for

deflection of slab above.
May be filled where
required with a suitable
resistant material
Designing with Aircrete

Movement Control

Accommodation of Movement General Considerations Other areas needing particular

The risk of cracking in walls In the design of walls, movement attention are:
due to drying shrinkage and/or should be accommodated by Openings, or changes of wall
thermal movement can never be following the recommendations height, thickness or direction.
totally eliminated from any type of BS EN 1996-2 and PD 6697, Shallow walls (where the length
of masonry and provisions such which can be summarised of a panel exceeds three times
as movement joints and bed joint as follows. its height).
reinforcement (BJR) only act Normally dissimilar materials
to reduce the risk of cracking. With the exception of solid external should not be bonded together
Similarly, when they are not used, walls or outer leaves, movement but should be separated by
the risk increases. joints are not normally provided forming a vertical movement joint
in drylined constructions as any or by incorporating a horizontal
For all masonry work movement cracking caused by drying shrinkage slip plane.
joints and/or BJR may need is not normally of any structural Additionally, the following points of
to be provided. These should significance and will not be visible. good practice should always
be incorporated at the design However, where wall lengths be observed.
stage and although PD 6697 exceed 6m, the following should 1 Overstrong mortars should be
(Recommendations for the design be considered. avoided. Generally, a Class M4
of masonry structures to (Designation (iii) mix, (1:1:6
BS EN 1996-1-1 and BS EN 1996-2) Block walls in excess of 6m should cement:lime:sand) is the strongest
states that movement joints are not be designed as a series of panels that should be used above DPC.
normally provided in internal walls of separated by movement joints at 2 All blocks (as with other materials)
low rise housing (unless significantly maximum 6m centres. Alternatively, should be protected, i.e. the
normal good practice of:
long runs of wall are involved), the wall panel can be reinforced
the risk of cracking does however either negating the need for or i covering the tops of partly-
increase where: increasing the distance between built walls:
movement joints. Movement joints ii at the end of the day’s work;
should be avoided in separating iii during wet weather;
wall panels are shallow (length walls because of concerns regarding
exceeds three times the height), iv once the wall has been
sound transmission. Where the completed but before the shell
lengths approach or exceed 6m, masonry is continuous at an is weather-tight, thus preventing
internal or external corner, the saturation of the wall. This will
the ends of the wall are ensure minimal drying out
bonded-in, first joint from the corner should
be positioned within 3m of the
the mortar is over strong, or 3 Use of bed joint reinforcement
corner (drawing 15).
above and below openings (see
the work gets over-wet section on bed joint reinforcement
during construction. below) (drawing 16).

15 16 Minimum
600mm 17
Note a) Flat strip ties only if designer requires
continuity across the joint.
Note b) See page 6 for reference to extra cavity
ties for vertical movement joints.


Location of Movement Joints centres. A flexible sealant may be
Where movement joints are required applied as required to maintain air
they are best positioned: tightness.

At intersecting walls and Movement joints should normally

columns (drawing 17). be continuous through all surface
At changes of wall height finishes. Stop beads can be used to
or thickness, or where end the finish at either one or both
chases occur. edges of the joint. Alternatively,
To coincide with movement a proprietary type of cover strip
joints in adjacent elements can be used, or an architrave can
of structure (floor or roof). be pinned to one edge of the joint
(drawing 20).
At junctions of dissimilar
Where design stability
Where architectural or considerations require continuity
structural features create a across the joint, proprietary
‘weak’ section ie. at a junction movement ties should be used.
with a structural column
These should be set parallel to the
(drawings 18 + 19).
plane of the wall. For traditional
mortar joints proprietary types of
Note: Movement joints are not
slip-ties with one end sleeved are
normally required below DPC level.
available. Cavity wall ties or ties with
anchored ends, for example fish-tail
Construction of Movement Joints
ties, should not be used across
Straight, un-bonded vertical joints
movement joints since this would
are the most common type of
result in bonding of the joint, which
movement joint, and can be formed
would prevent accommodation of
by butting the blocks against both
sides of a strip of rigid or flexible
filler (such as polyethylene foam).
Movement ties specifically for thin
Additional cavity wall ties should
joint blockwork are designed to fit
be provided on either side of the
into a 10mm wide movement joint
joint. These should be located within
and flex to allow for movement.
225mm each side of the joint and
at a maximum of 300mm vertical

18 Restraints to be suitably fixed or built into 19 20

structural members. Suitable dowels or
25mm x 3mm flat strip should be used
with ends of each restraint built 100mm
into wall to allow longitudinal movement.
One end of tie
sleeved or wrapped
in a debonding
Designing with Aircrete

Movement Control continued

Bed Joint Reinforcement Where a wall is supported by a floor Dissimilar materials

The use of bed joint reinforcement or beam, which itself may be subject Where H+H aircrete blocks abut
can reduce the risk of cracking to deflection, the first two courses other materials (e.g. brickwork,
caused by a concentration of the wall should be reinforced steel etc.), differential movement
of stresses. Its use can also (drawing 22). In all cases, masonry- can occur. Where dissimilar
be extended so that where a grade reinforcement should be materials bear onto H+H aircrete
movement joint would otherwise used (plastering grade types are not blocks (e.g. cast in-situ concrete
be advisable, but not desirable, suitable) and it should be installed in slabs, precast concrete beams or
e.g. where aesthetic or practical accordance with the manufacturer’s floor units, and lintels), the use of a
reasons do not allow, the wall recommendations. separating layer or ‘slip plane’ at the
panel may be reinforced through bearing or bed joint reinforcement
its length (drawing 21). This In recognition of the fact that Thin should be considered.
applies particularly to separating Joint mortar is stronger than a
walls which should not contain a traditional 1:1:6 (or its equivalent) Slip Plane
movement joint. For specific advice mix, our recommendations for Thin A slip plane is a sliding joint (a
contact our Technical Department. Joint constructions is that bed joint typical example would be a smooth
reinforcement be generally included DPC type material or building grade
Reinforcement laid in horizontal in every second course. This may be polythene) used to separate parts
bed joints is particularly appropriate steel or proprietory GRP type. of the structure having different
for areas of high stress, for movement.
example at openings and under Wall Junctions
concentrated imposed loads. Normally walls should be bonded For example, the combined effects
Any such reinforcement should at returns and junctions unless of drying shrinkage and the thermal
be of adequate length to distribute a movement joint is required. movement of a concrete roof slab
stresses to nearby movement joints However, where a section of wall has cast directly onto a block wall could
or into adjacent areas of blockwork, to be constructed after other work cause cracking in the upper courses
extending, for example, at least has been completed, the bonding of the wall. The use of a slip plane
600mm into the adjacent can be replaced by a straight joint between the top of the wall and the
blockwork each side of an provided ties are built-in across the slab would help to prevent this. The
opening (drawing 16). joint. This method of jointing is also most common use for slip planes is
preferable to bonding in situations under the bearings of long lintels,
where differential movement is precast concrete beams and in-situ
likely to occur, for example, where concrete slabs.
sections of wall are constructed on
different foundations or supports.

21 22

Bed joint
in first two

Where floors
could be subject
to deflection see
PD 6697
Bed Joint
Regulations (acoustics)

H+H UK products can easily achieve the requirements

of National Building Regulations and Standards.

With excellent sound insulation

qualities, which allow continued use
of familiar construction methods
with only minimal modifications to
achieve the regulations for internal
walls, floors and separating (party)
walls and flanking walls.

Flanking Wall Internal Partition Wall

100mm Any Celcon Block 100mm Celcon Block Standard Grade
Any finish Any finish
(Rw = 40dB)

Separating Wall Internal Beam and Block Floor

2 x 100mm (min) Minimum 40mm screed (sand/cement)
Celcon Standard
or High Strength 100mm Celcon Block Standard Grade
See Pages 22-23 440 x 215mm
12.5mm plasterboard ceiling (Rw = 40dB)
Designing with Aircrete

Acoustic Compliance

The routes to compliance

Compliance to Approved document E of the Building
Regulations is achieved via one of two routes:

Robust Details: Pre-Completion Testing (PCT):

When used in accordance with the To ensure achievement of
rules and procedures of Robust the specified performance
Details Limited (www.robustdetails. requirements. Pre-Completion
com). They are construction Testing has been introduced to
solutions that provide an alternative ensure the sound insulation of
to Pre-Completion Testing (PCT) as homes and rooms for residential
a method of complying with purposes (both newly built and
Part E (resistance to the passage of conversions) meet the performance
sound) of the Building Regulations standards of Part E1.
for England and Wales for new build
houses, flats and apartments.

Apartments – Separating Floors: Schools Solutions:

The aircrete Robust Details To satisfy Requirement E4, refer to
(E-WM-6, 10, 13, 15, 23 and 24) Building Bulletin 93 Acoustic Design
are equally suitable for use of Schools produced by the DfE
in apartments, when used in and published by the Stationery
combination with one of the Office. Due to the complexity of
compatible separating floor the design process, the document
constructions. Within the current RD states ‘in all but the simplest cases,
handbook reference should be made it is advisable to appoint a suitably
to the following separating floors qualified acoustic consultant’ who
(E-FC-4, 5, 8 and 9) to achieve full would normally be a corporate
Robust Detail compliance. member of The Institute of
Acoustics (www.ioa.org.uk).
Rooms for Residential Purposes:
Rooms for residential purposes H+H aircrete offers the ability to
(such as hotels and hostels) are construct a variety of masonry
subject to the requirements of solutions for educational buildings
Part E of the Building Regulations to satisfy the performance levels
but the use of Robust Details is required.
not recognised as a suitable form
of demonstrating compliance. For further information relating to
Consequently, pre completion the use of H+H products and school
acoustic testing is needed on construction please contact H+H’s
site. H+H aircrete can also be technical department.
used in separating and flanking
walls in such builds and suitable
constructions for this purpose are
shown on adjacent page.
Seperating Walls - solid construction (43dB)

Masonry outer leaf

Cavity closer

Separating wall – 215mm (min) Standard or High Strength Grade

Flanking wall

Plaster finish

Seperating Walls - cavity construction (43dB)

Masonry outer leaf

Cavity closer

Separating wall – 100mm (min) Standard or High Strength Grade

Minimum 75mm clear cavity

Flanking wall

Plaster or plasterboard on dabs

Flanking Walls

Masonry outer leaf

Cavity closer

Flanking wall – Any 100mm (min) H+H aircrete, any Finish

Designing with Aircrete

Robust Details for

Acoustic Performance

What is a Robust Detail?

A Robust Detail, for Part E of Building Regulations, is a
separating wall or floor construction which has been
assessed and approved by Robust Details Limited (RDL).

In order to be approved, each Robust Robust Detail designs are pre-tested

Detail must: to higher standards than those
required by Approved Document E
be capable of consistently exceeding of the Building Regulations before
the performance standards given in being approved by Robust Details
Approved Document E to the Building Limited (RDL). Therefore, if you
Regulations for England and Wales register your build with RDL and
be practicable to build build in compliance with Robust
Details, you will not have to carry out
be reasonably tolerant pre-completion sound testing.
to workmanship.

E-WM-6 Separating Wall – Cavity Masonry

Aircrete blocks
Render and gypsum-based board on dabs

Block type 100mm H+H Standard or High Strength Grades

Wall ties Approved Document E Tie Type A
Cavity Width 75mm (min) (may be clear or fully insulated with mineral wool
with a maximum density of 40 kg/m2)
Block thickness 100mm (min), each leaf
Wall finish Gypsum-based board (nominal 8 kg/m2 mounted on dabs on
cement:sand render (nominal 8mm) with scratch finish. Render
mix must not be stronger than 1:1:6 and not stronger than
External (flanking) wall Masonry (both leaves) with 50mm (min) cavity – clear, fully
filled or partially filled with insulation

All RDL Information provided here is accurate at the time of going to press.
For details of any changes and to keep up to date with current assessments,
visit www.robustdetails.com
20 + 21

E-WM-10 & 13 Separating Wall – Cavity Masonry (thin joint)

Aircrete thin joint system

Render and gypsum-based board on dabs

Block type 100mm H+H Standard or High Strength Grades

Wall ties For E-WM-10, wall ties must be Ancon Building Products Staifix
HRT4 or Clan PWT4 installed at not more than 2.5 ties per
square metre
For E-WM-13, no wall ties are to be inserted in the separating
wall (this RD can give up to 3 credits in the CfSH)
Cavity Width 75mm (min) (may be clear or fully insulated with
mineral wool with a maximum density of 40 kg/m3
Block thickness 100mm (min), each leaf
Wall finish Gypsum-based board (nominal 8 kg/m2) mounted on dabs on
cement:sand render (nominal 8mm) with scratch finish. Render
mix must not be stronger than 1:1:6 and not stronger than
External (flanking) wall Masonry (both leaves) with 50mm (min) cavity – clear, fully
filled or partially filled with insulation

E-WM-15 Separating Wall – Cavity Masonry

Aircrete blocks
35mm (minimum) Saint Gobain-Isover RD35 Acoustic Batt
Gypsum-based board (norminal 9.8 kg/m2) on dabs (no render parge coat)

Block type 100mm H+H Standard or High Strength Grades

Wall ties Insulation retaining wall ties to Approved Document E
‘Tie type A’
Cavity Width 75mm (min) leaf-to-leaf
Block thickness 100mm (min), each leaf
Wall finish Gypsum-based board (nominal 9.8 kg/m2 mounted
on dabs
Insulation 35mm (min) Isover RD35 mineral wall acoustic batt
External (flanking) wall Masonry (both leaves) with 50mm (min) cavity – clear,
fully filled or partially filled with insulation

E-WM-23 +24 Separating Wall – (traditional or thin joint) (these RDs can give up to 3 credits in the CfSH)

Aircrete blocks
100mm (minimum) Superglass Party Wall Roll (E-WM-23 only)
100mm (minimum) Isover RD Party Wall Roll (E-WM-24 only)
Gypsum-based board (nominal 8 kg/m2) on dabs (no render parge coat)

Block type 100mm H+H Standard or High Strength Grades

Wall ties Ties to Approved Document E ‘Tie type A’.
For thin joint, wall ties must be Ancon Building
products Staifix HRT4 or Clan PWT4
Cavity Width 100mm (min) leaf-to-leaf
Block thickness 100mm (min), each leaf
Wall finish Gypsum-based board (nominal 8 kg/m2) mounted on dabs
Insulation Superglass Party Wall Roll (E-WM-23 only)
Isover RD Party Wall Roll (E-WM-24 only)
External (flanking) wall Masonry (both leaves) with 50mm (min) cavity – clear, fully
filled or partially filled with insulation

www.hhcelcon.co.uk Sales 01732 886444 Technical 01732 880580

Designing with Aircrete

Fire Resistance

Fire Resistance Where H+H aircrete is used in cavity

All H+H products have excellent wall constructions, the thicknesses
resistance to fire. Extensive use has shown below may be reduced.
proved their capability in real fires, Contact the Technical Services
not only as fire-break walls, but also Department for further advice.
as protective cladding for other
forms of construction, such as Designers may also use
steel frame. BS EN 1996-1-2 (Eurocode 6: Part 1-2).

BBA certificate 01-3816 confirms Fire Resistance –

that H+H aircrete is classified as Solid Partition Walls
non combustible (as defined in the A solid partition wall means there is
National Building Regulations) and no build up of combustible material
have a reaction to fire of Class A1 in the cavity, which can generate a
to BS EN 13501-1.1. flue effect in stud partitions.

Fire Resistance Ratings Fire Resistance –

A 100mm H+H aircrete block wall Beam and Block Floors
is fire resistant up to 4 hours in When finished with 13mm
non loadbearing situations and 2 plasterboard, internal beam and
hours (Standard or Higher Strength block floor systems provide one
Grades) in loadbearing situations. hour’s fire resistance, meeting
the requirements of the National
Regulations & Standards.

Examples of Fire resistance from BS EN 1996-1-2

Minimum block thickness excluding finishes*

Loadbearing wall Non-Loadbearing wall
up to up to

Fire Resistance (hours) 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4

Solar Grade range (mm) 100 - - - 100 100 100 100
Standard and 100 100 140 150 75 75 75 100
Higher Strength Grade
ranges (mm)
* Block sizes indicated may not be stocked items.
CDM Regulations

The Health and Safety The Construction (Design and Celcon Block weights can be found
Management) Regulations (CDM) on individual product data sheets
Executive (HSE) deals 2015 place specific duties directly or within our Products and
with all aspects of on designers: Applications guide.
construction work Aircrete Solutions
To eliminate hazards
in Great Britain. where foreseeable The cellular structure of aircrete
ensures a product that is both
This includes ensuring Eliminate hazards which strong and lightweight, thus
building sites are may give rise to risks providing significant productivity
To reduce risks from any and health and safety advantages.
adhering to safety remaining hazards
procedure such as
Block Weights
manual handling. The Construction Industry Advisory
Committee (CONIAC) guidance
suggests that repetative handling of
blocks over 20kg can increase risk
of injury therefore when designing
or specifying blocks, the lightest
block that fulfills the performance
criteria should be chosen.

Maximum block thickness (mm)* within our product range to comply with CDM Regulations

Product format Solar Standard High Strength Super Strength

440 x 215 215 275 215 215
630 x 215 215 200 140 140
630 x 140 - 300 215 215
630 x 250 140 140 140 140
630 x 350 - 100 - -
* Based on block handling weights at typical moisture content when laid.
Some manufacturer’s quote data which does not include this allowance.
Not all products listed are stocked items.
Building with Aircrete

Good Site Practice

Site Practice Mortars

All site work should be carried The use of over-strong mortars
out in accordance with the should be avoided (with general
recommendations of BS 8000-3. mortars, the mortar should not
be stronger than the block).
Storage Lower mortar strengths enhance
H+H aircrete is fully cured on the ability to accommodate
dispatch and ready for use as movement (see PD 6697). As a
soon as it has cooled to ambient general rule, cement:lime:sand
temperature; this is normally within mortars give a stronger bond than
two days of manufacture. Blocks plasticised mortars of a similar
should be unloaded on to a dry, level compressive strength.
surface, and should be covered to
protect them from severe weather. For more information on lime-based
Blocks that have become wet should mortars, see the Mortar Industry
be allowed to dry out before use, to Association’s Datasheets 11 and 18
reduce the risk of drying shrinkage (www.mortar.org.uk).
in the completed blockwork. As a
general rule, on hard standing, packs Recommended Mortar Types
with or without pallets should be Class M4 Mortar is the strongest
stored no more than three high. On that should be used with traditional
uneven ground and on site, stacking blockwork above ground level,
should normally be restricted to a and is generally suitable, provided
maximum of two packs high. structural considerations do not
demand a stronger mix and the
For further guidance see the Health masonry is protected during
& Safety Data on page 23. construction from saturation
and freezing. Below ground
level, mortars of M6 (1:1/2:4
cement:lime:sand) particularly
Recommended prescribed and designed mortar types where there is a risk of freeze/thaw,
Mortar Strength
or M4 may be used, according to
soil conditions.
Type of Mortar Proportion Designation Class
by volume
Under very dry conditions,
Celfix (thin layer) mortar - - M10 aircrete should not be wetted
Cement:lime:sand 1:½:4-4½ (ii)* M6* but the consistency of the mortar
Cement:lime:sand 1:1:5-6 (iii) M4
should be adjusted to suit the
suction. Admixtures intended as
Cement:sand with or without air entrainment 1:1:6 (iii) M4 a precaution against frost damage
Masonry cement:sand 1:4-5 (iii) M4 should not be used, since they can
Cement:lime:sand 1:1:6 (iii) M2 give rise to adverse effects on the
hydration of cement, and have
* For use below DPC
other undesirable effects.
NB: When the sand proportion is given as, for example, 5 to 6 the lower figure should be used with sands containing a higher proportion of
fines whilst the highest figure should be used with sands containing a lower proportion of fines.

Pre mix or ready to use mortars

should comply with BS EN 998-2.

For information on Celfix mortar

for use with the H+H Thin-Joint
system, please see our website
www.hhcelcon.co.uk where the full
range of our brochures are available
to download.
Block Laying Workability Beam and Block Floors
When laying aircrete blocks, Site wastage can be kept to a
the following principles should minimum using aircrete, because Provision for Services
be observed: special shapes and infill pieces The forming of service holes can
can be easily cut with hand be simply achieved by leaving out
1 A regular bond pattern should be tools. Percussive power tools blocks from the floor. The voids
maintained based on a minimum are not necessary. One of the key around pipes should then be made
overlap of a quarter of a block, but advantages of walls built using good with insitu concrete.
never less than 75mm. H+H aircrete is that it is easy to
2 Blockwork should be set out to place services such as electric Site work – Beam and Block Floors
ensure that wherever possible all cables, water pipes etc, wherever All joints between blocks and the
lintels bear upon full blocks, not required. The physical nature of beams must not exceed 5mm and
onto a short length of cut block. the material allows quick and must be grouted before the floor is
The bearing should normally be simple cutting and chasing. finished and used. The grout should
at least 150mm in length. be a mix of cement/sand with
3 Cut blocks and Coursing Units Holes can be made with a normal sufficient water added to produce
should always be used for drill. Chasing can be carried out with a slurry of suitable consistency
irregular or non-standard spaces; a chisel or similar wood working for brushing or pouring depending
bricks, mortar or other dissimilar tools. The depth of vertical chases on the beam profile. For further
materials should be avoided. should be limited to one-third of details see the H+H BBA certificate.
4 Blocks should be laid on a full bed the wall thickness, and horizontal Planks or boards should be used as
of mortar, with 10mm (2mm for chases to one-sixth of the wall spreaders during installation
Thin-Joint System) thick vertical thickness. Back-to-back chasing in and at all times until the floor is
and horizontal joints. It is essential walls should only be carried out with grouted. The floor should not be
for acoustic performance that the designer’s approval and should overloaded during construction.
all joints, in particular, within never occur in walls where acoustic
separating walls are fully filled.
performance is important.
5 When walls are to be externally
rendered or internally plastered,
the joints should be left recessed
(except where Thin layer masonry
is used).
6 Any movement joints and/or bed
joint reinforcement should
be built-in as work proceeds.
7 Blockwork should be protected
from adverse weather during and
immediately after laying (see ‘BRE
Good Building Guide 34’)

Construction tolerances should
not exceed the permissible values
set out in BS 8000-3. For further
guidance on accuracy, see BS 5606
Code of practice for accuracy in
building and NHBC guidance.
Building with Aircrete

External Applied Finishes

External Applied Finishes Blockwork

As a consequence of the different
cutting processes used at different Movement Joints:
factories, some H+H Celcon PD6697-Recommendations for the
Blocks are manufactured with design of masonry structures to
scratched surfaces whilst most BS EN 1996-1-1 and BS EN 1996-2
are plain faced. The scratched advises that for all masonry work,
surface is not produced to provide movement joints may need to be
a key for render and is normally provided. For further information
inadequate for that purpose. Apart please see Movement Control
from appearance, blocks supplied section on page 14. The general
from different factories will have requirement for concrete blocks is
identical physical properties. These that a movement joint should be
recommendations, therefore, apply provided within 3m from corners
equally to all H+H aircrete products, and at 6m centres thereafter.
whether plain faced or scratched. In addition, it is advisable for
a rendered wall that bed joint
Externally rendered H+H aircrete as reinforcement is incorporated
an outer leaf of a cavity wall, or as a above and below openings. Specific
solid wall where exposure conditions recommendations will depend
allow, are suitable constructions. on the circumstances, and each
The choice of aircrete grade situation should be assessed on
and render specification should its own merits, please consult our
reflect the exposure conditions Technical Services Department for
and whether the cavity contains further guidance if required.
insulation or not (see Table 7). Work
should comply with BS EN13914
‘Design, preparation and application
of external rendering and internal
plastering’ Part 1: External

Table 7
Fig 1.

Cavity Wall Solid Wall

External Product Exposure conditions Clear or partially Fully filled cavity
Grade (up to and including) filled cavity

Solar Sheltered/Moderate * * 
Severe * * *
Very severe * * PD6697 recommends
impervious cladding to solid
walls in severe exposures

Standard High or Sheltered/Moderate   

Super Strength Severe * *

Very severe * * PD6697 recommends
impervious cladding to solid
walls in severe exposures

 irectly bonded render suitable,

NB: Where provision for movement has NOT been made in the aircrete wall
(i.e. vertical movement joints and/or bed joint reinforcement), consideration
should be given to the use of a reinforced render system as detailed below.

* Traditional renders should be applied via metal lathing as a reinforced render system.
Some proprietary renders may be suitable for direct application subject to
confirmation by manufacturer.
Mortar: Render Traditional Sand: Cement mixes
The use of over-strong mortars The following guidance covers should not be stronger than the
should be avoided as lower mortar the application of traditional backgrounds onto which they are
strengths enhance the ability of the renders when applied direct applied. Similarly, each coat of
wall to accommodate movement. to the aircrete walls. render should be weaker than the
Recommended mortar mixes are preceding one. This requirement
as given for render mixes below. Where H+H aircrete is used for a is normally met by using the same
Generally, lime based mixes are solid wall, or for the external leaf mix proportions for each coat and
preferable as these give a better of a cavity wall, the external render ensuring that successive coats are
bond than can be obtained with should be terminated at DPC significantly thinner. A Class M4,
air-entrained mortars of similar level, unless a proprietary render or equivalent, is the strongest mix
compressive strength. In external approved for such an application is recommended for use for direct
situations, lime based mortars used. A bituminous paint suitable application on to aircrete walls.
can also give higher resistance for external use, or similar surface Recommended mix proportions
to rain penetration. coating, applied to exposed aircrete (by volume) are given in Table 8.
from 150mm below soil level up
For thin joint constructions, H+H to DPC is good practice (see Sand used for rendering should
recommends that only H+H Celfix drawings 23 and 24). be clean, sharp, well graded and
mortar is used in conjunction with comply with the requirements of
our products. Any movement joints present in the BS EN 13139:2002 ‘Aggregates for
wall should be continued through mortar’. Traditionally, the coarsest
Site Practice: the render finish. Proprietary and sharpest sand that can be
All blocks (as with other materials) types of external-grade stop conveniently handled should be
should be protected. Keeping the bead incorporating a cover strip used for undercoats. Sand normally
blocks dry will ensure minimal are available for this purpose. used for brick/block laying mortar
drying out movement. Alternatively, two stop beads can be is unlikely to be suitable due to the
placed back to back with a flexible high proportion of finer material.
sealant applied between the two.
Table 8 Number and thickness of coats will
depend on exposure and method
Recommended prescribed and designed mortar types
of application. Generally two-coat
Mortar Strength work is suitable for ‘sheltered’ and
‘moderate’ exposure conditions with
Type of Mortar Proportion Designation Class
by volume the final coat being about half the
thickness of the undercoat.
Cement:lime:sand 1:1:6 (iii) M4
Cement:sand with plasticiser 1:6 (iii) M4 Three coats are recommended for
Masonry cement:sand 1:5 (iii) M4 ‘severe’ and ‘very severe’ exposure
conditions (and for renders applied
over metal lathing or mesh).
23 24
Single coat work should be
restricted to proprietary systems
designed to be used in this way.

150 150

Building with Aircrete

External Applied Finishes continued

Surface Preparation The stipple or spatterdash should

The background should be consist of 1 part cement to 2 parts
adequately prepared. The wall sharp sand mixed to a thick
should be cleaned of any dust, creamy consistency with water
loose particles and contamination, and a bonding agent suitable for
which may have occurred during external use (eg SBR, EVA or an
construction. In extreme cases of acrylic emulsion).
bad site storage or wet conditions
where fungi or algae may have For a stipple coat, the slurry should
formed on the wall, the surface be vigorously brushed onto the
must first be treated with a fungicide, wall to wet the surface thoroughly
applied in accordance with the and then immediately stippled with
manufacturer’s instructions. a freshly loaded brush to provide
a stipple texture. Alternatively,
As recommended in BS8000 Part spatterdash is applied by throwing
3, we would suggest that mortar the mixture onto the wall to give
joints should be raked by 15mm as a rough texture similar to the
work proceeds on all masonry to stipple effect.
be rendered in order to provide a
good key. For walls built with thin The treated surface should be
layer mortar joints (which cannot protected from drying out for the
be raked), we would suggest the use first day and then allowed to dry
of a surface treatment, as detailed and harden for another day or two
below for high suction situations, before the rendering undercoat
to improve the key for rendering. is applied. Any applied surface
Alternatively a reinforced render treatment should be checked to
system may be used. ensure that it is firmly bonded to the
background before the undercoat
In order to control high suction, is applied.
which may exist particularly during
warmer weather, and to improve the The use of a ‘scratch coat’ (normally
key for subsequent coats, consisting of a 3-4mm, heavily
BS EN13914 Part 1 suggests the scratched first coat of the same mix
use of a surface treatment such proportions as subsequent coats) to
as a ‘stipple’ coat or ‘spatterdash’. control suction is not recommended
Alternatively, a proprietary surface for external renders as subsequent
treatment, may be used and coats will invariably be thicker, and
applied in accordance with the therefore stronger.
manufacturers recommendations.
Application Decorative finishes should not be External Wall Insulation Systems
Undercoats should be a nominal applied until the top coat has dried External wall insulation systems are
12mm (±4mm to allow for variations out, but dry dash and roughcast becoming more popular to either
in the wall surface) and should be is part of the top coat and should improve the thermal performance of
combed or scratched. This not only be applied whilst the top coat existing buildings or to provide high
provides a key for the following is in a suitable state to receive levels of thermal performance to
coat but also helps to reduce the aggregate to allow adequate new build. Many such systems exist
the development of the ‘sheet’ embedment. and these have been successfully
strength of the render. Scratching applied to H+H solid wall products
or combing should be in wavy lines Admixtures to obtain a U-value of 0.15W/m2K or
and not straight, horizontal lines Providing the work and materials less in a cost effective construction.
(which can concentrate stresses in comply as above, the use of The manufacturer of the system
one direction leading to subsequent additives should not be necessary. should be consulted and it is
vertical cracking). Some tradesmen, based on local recommended that the system
practice and experience, add is confirmed by independent
Newly applied rendering should water-retaining admixtures (to certification. The system usually
be kept damp for the first day or prevent rendering from losing consists of a rigid insulation board
two and the next coat should not water too quickly) or waterproofing fixed mechanically or bonded to the
be applied until the undercoat has admixtures (to reduce suction) in aircrete and finished with a render
adequately dried for a further two undercoats. However, BS EN13914 system onto a mesh.
or three days. It is necessary for advices that certain types of
the drying to take place to provide admixture may have an adverse
suction for the next coat. For three- affect on adhesion between
coat work, the second coat should subsequent render layers and
be approximately 9mm. paint, we would therefore advise
caution on their use.
Final Coats should normally be
approximately 6mm thick. Where Proprietary Systems
a proprietary type of finish is used, Proprietary renders should be
it should be applied strictly in applied strictly in accordance
accordance with the manufacturer’s with the manufacturers’
instructions. Otherwise, the render recommendations with regards
should be finished with a wooden to suitability and preparation of
float (the use of steel trowel or float backgrounds on to which they are
will result in a smooth dense surface applied.
which is liable to crazing) to produce
the characteristic sandpaper texture, Depending on the supplier, some
or textured as required. use only approved installers
whilst others will also supply their
Dry dash and roughcast finishes materials for others to apply and
traditionally require a strong render offer a site advice service.
mix and are therefore not deemed
to be suitable for application on Reinforced render systems
to aircrete. However, such finishes incorporating metal lathing or
may be used provided a 1:1:6 (or proprietary meshes (e.g. Rendalath,
equivalent strength) mix is not Expamet) should be installed in
exceeded or a reinforced render accordance with the manufacturer’s
system is adopted. recommendations. This should
include guidance on fixings, laps,
provision of movement joints
and suitable mixes (which may
need to be stronger than that
previously discussed).
Building with Aircrete

Internal Applied Finishes

Plaster Mixes Surface Preparation

Most types of plaster, can be applied The following guidance covers the
to H+H aircrete. Choice of plaster application of traditional dense
type and application should be plaster when applied direct to the
made with regard to guidance given aircrete walls. Proprietary and pre-
in BS EN13914 ‘Design, preparation mixed plasters should be applied in
and application of external accordance with the manufacturer’s
rendering and internal plastering’ recommendations.
Part 2: Internal plastering and
PD6697 (see also FPDC Advisory As recommended in PD6697, we
Note No 1 ‘The application of plaster would suggest that mortar joints
to aircrete block walls’). should be raked by 15mm as work
proceeds on all masonry to be
Traditional sand : cement (dense) plastered or rendered in order to
plasters should not be stronger than provide a good key. For walls built
the backgrounds onto which they with thin layer mortar joints (which
are applied. An M4 or equivalent, is cannot be raked), we would suggest
the strongest mix recommended the use of a PVA bonding coat,
for use for direct application on to as detailed below, to improve the
aircrete walls. Recommended mix bond for plastering. Walls should be
proportions (by volume) for M4 are cleaned of any dust, loose particles
given in Table 9. and contamination, which may have
occurred during construction. In
Gypsum (lightweight) plasters extreme cases of bad site storage
The manufacturer’s or wet conditions where fungi or
recommendations should be algae may have formed on the
followed as to the appropriateness wall, the surface must first be
of their plasters for application treated with a fungicide, applied
onto aircrete. Portland cement and in accordance with the
gypsum plasters should never be manufacturer’s instructions.
used in the same mix nor allowed to
contaminate each other at any stage Any movement joints present in the
of the mixing or gauging of materials. wall should be continued through
the plaster finish. Proprietary types
The total thickness of plaster is of movement beads incorporating
normally 13mm when applied to a cover strip are available for this
blockwork. This excludes any purpose. Alternatively, stop beads
dubbing out which may be abutting adjoining work can be used
necessary when walls have been to provide a break in the plaster.
built out of plumb or alignment,
or where architectural features
require localised thickening of the
plaster finish.

Table 9
Recommended prescribed M4 mortar types

Type of Proportion
Mortar by volume
Cement : lime : plastering sand 1:1:6
Cement : plastering sand with plasticiser 1:6
Masonry cement : plastering sand 1:5
H+H aircrete, under normal Battening Tiling Rendered and
conditions, has moderate to high Plasterboard can also be fixed by Plastered Walls
suction. In very dry conditions, it means of a timber or a proprietary An undercoat of cement:sand
may be necessary to control high metal furring system, which (dense) plaster provides a
suction by dampening the wall should be spaced in accordance stronger background for tiling
using a stock brush or fine spray with manufacturer’s instructions. than lightweight plaster and
immediately before plastering The method of fixing the framing should be used wherever possible.
to balance the blocks’ initial to aircrete is covered under ‘Fixing’, See the Tile Association guidance.
suction. This must be carried (see drawings 25 and 26 on page 33)
out in a controlled fashion and (see also plasterboard Preparation: cement and sand
on relatively small areas at a manufacturer’s data). render is the preferred background
time. Excessive wetting must for large areas of blockwork which
be avoided. Alternatively, a PVA Internal Tiling are intended to receive a tiled
bonding coat can be applied in Traditionally, internal ceramic tiling finish, but the blockwork should be
accordance with the manufacturer’s is applied to blockwork which has allowed to dry out for at least six
recommendations. These are previously received a rendered weeks before rendering. On Solar
typically applied diluted in two or plastered finish. A period of six Grade blockwork the render should
coats, with the first acting as a weeks must be allowed between be reinforced, with welded wire
primer (which is allowed to dry) and the completion of the blockwork mesh secured to the blockwork.
the plaster is applied to the second and the start of the rendering For further guidance see BS 5385-1.
coat whilst it is still tacky. or plastering, and a further two The most suitable mix for H+H
weeks must be allowed before Standard Grade and Higher
Dry Lining the tiling commences. For further Strength Grade block walls is 1:4
Both standard plasterboard and information, see BS 5385-1. cement:sand (by volume); Solar
laminated thermal boards can be Grade block walls, appropriate
fixed by bonding directly to the Proprietary adhesives are available mixes include 1:5 masonry
blockwork using proprietary dabs or which permit tiling to be carried cement:sand, or 1:6 cement:sand
adhesive, or attached to proprietary out sooner on blockwork which is plus a plasticiser.
metal furring systems. sufficiently plumb and accurate.
However, this method is not Application: rendering should be
Direct Bonding appropriate for every situation left with a wood float finish (see
Plasterboard can be directly and advice should be sought from BS 5385-1) and should be completed
bonded to the background using the manufacturers of the tiles and at least 14 days before the tiling
plaster dabs in accordance with the adhesive. begins; the surface should be dry to
the instructions of the board receive the tiling. When conditions
manufacturer; those boards which Generally, tiles should comply with of service are damp or wet, a
have a layer of bonded insulation BS EN 14411. flexible, water-resistant adhesive
should be fixed by means of a should be used with a solid-bed
suitable adhesive. Selection Technical specifications (materials technique (see BS 5385-4).
of a suitable adhesive, and the and methods) for ceramic wall
most appropriate method of tiling can be obtained from The Large areas of tiling should be
application should be made Tile Association. www.tiles.org.uk divided into bays of 3-4.5m2.
in accordance with the board Movement joints will be required at
manufacturer’s instructions. BRE Defect Action Sheet 137 gives edges of tiled areas and at junctions
general advice to avoid problems in of walls, floors and ceilings.
Secondary nailing using proprietary internal tiling. Movement joints in the wall should
nails and plugs is also necessary to extend completely through the
ensure that laminated linings remain tiling, bedding and rendering.
attached to the blockwork in the
event of fire.
Building with Aircrete

Internal Applied Finishes continued

Decorative Finishes Due to the manufacturing process

Aircrete can be left unfinished it is possible that occasional ‘pock’
or finished with one of many surface marks may be visible on the face of
treatments, other than conventional the blocks (as the result of a wire
render, plaster and tiling. cutting through one of the larger
air bubbles). It is also possible
Tiling Unrendered Walls (internal) that edges may become chipped
Provided the walls have been well whilst the blocks are moved around
built to the required standards site – although not an issue with
for plumb and accuracy for the traditional applied finishes, this may
recommended thickness of the be an issue with fair face work.
bedding material, tiles can be
fixed direct to block walls. The wall Given the aforementioned, we
surface should be free from dust, oil would suggest that where our blocks
and other forms of contamination, are intended to be finished with
and should be dry or almost dry; paint only or left unfinished, that a
the blockwork should be completed sample panel is built to determine
at least one month before the the acceptability of the surface of
tiling begins. the blockwork panel for the project
in hand.
The tiles should be fixed with a
proprietary adhesive, using the Paints of most types can be applied
solid-bed technique. A thin-bed direct to the surface of the blocks.
or a thick-bed adhesive may be After normal preparatory work, the
used depending on the flatness paint should be applied following
of the wall. For general guidance the manufacturer’s specific
on internal tiling see BRE Defect recommendations. A mist coat (or
Action Sheet 137. sealer) plus two full coats of trade
emulsion is generally adequate to
The selection of a suitable adhesive provide an economical finish.
will depend on the background
to which the tiles are to be fixed, Textured Finishes
and it is important to follow the There are also many proprietary
particular adhesive manufacturer’s surface treatments which can
instructions. BS 5385-1 gives advice be used on aircrete blockwork,
on the choice of adhesives available. either directly or on a rendered
background. These should always
Natural or Painted Finishes be applied in accordance with
Where blockwork is protected from the relevant manufacturer’s
regular contact or is out of reach, recommendations.
the most economical finish is for
it to be left exposed or painted. A Spray Finishes
painted wall will often be perfectly Proprietary plasters with a total
satisfactory in areas with limited thickness of 3-4mm can be applied
access, for example in plant rooms. directly to blockwork that has been
constructed to a suitable standard
It should be noted that although all of plumbness and accuracy. These
H+H blocks are suitable to receive plasters are particularly suitable
a paint finish, we do not sell any of with, and compliment, the inherent
our products as being ‘Paint Grade’
or ‘Fair Face’. Where it is intended to
have a painted finish we suggest the
following is considered.
Wall Fixings

Fixing into H+H Aircrete is easy.

Plugs, with screws or nails as
appropriate will provide a very
secure and reliable fixing.

For lightweight fixtures (drawings

25 and 26) such as light-duty
door frames, skirtings, linings and
cladding battens, recommended
fixings include cut nails, driven in
pairs, skewed into the block work,
or proprietary helical nails (see
below). The nails should be driven
to a minimum depth of 50mm into
the block.

Medium-weight fixtures (drawing Direct driven wood screws, with no The use of non-percussive power
27), for example, heavier-duty plug may be used for fixing electrical tools will help prevent over-sized
door frames and battens and small back boxes and the like. Heavyweight pilot holes.
fixtures, should be fixed using items (drawing 28) such as radiators
proprietary plugs and normal and cupboards should be fixed using Advice on the most appropriate
woodscrews. The screws should proprietary plugs. types of fixing for a given situation
penetrate the block to a minimum and pull-out values for a range of
depth of 50mm, and when deciding As a general rule, fixings should proprietary plugged and screwed
the screw length, allowance must not be closer to the free edge fixings is readily available from the
be made for the thickness of the of the block than the depth of Technical Services Department.
internal finish as well as the item embedment, nor should they be
to be fixed. over-tightened as this can affect
the pull out strength.
When fixing battens etc., using
helical nails, it may be helpful to The diameter of holes drilled in
drive the fixing through the timber blocks should be a size smaller
before positioning, to avoid bounce. than that normally recommended
to ensure that the plug fits tightly in
the block before the screw is driven.

25 26 27 28
Proprietary Nailed Cut Nails Proprietary Plugs Proprietary
Fixing (driven in pairs for (Solar) & Woodscrews Heavyweight Fixings
Timber Fixtures such as Timber Fixtures such as Heavier door frames, Heavyweight items
light door frames, skirtings, light door frames, skirtings, battens and small fixtures such as radiators
linings and cladding battens linings and cladding battens and cupboards

Block Block Block Block

Plaster* Plaster* Plaster* Plaster*

* With or without plaster

For further information, to check our
most up-to-date product range or to find
your nearest stocking merchant, please
visit our website www.hhcelcon.co.uk or
contact the following departments:

For sales enquiries or to find your local
stockist please contact
Tel: 01732 886444
Fax: 01732 887013

For technical enquiries please contact
Tel: 01732 880580
Fax: 01732 887013
Email: technical.services@hhcelcon.co.uk

Head Office
H+H UK Limited
Celcon House
Ightham Sevenoaks
Kent TN15 9HZ
Tel: 01732 886333

H+H UK will always endeavour to reflect our product range

and technical information as accurately as possible.
We may however, need to update both from time to time
during the life of this brochure. Please check with either
our Sales or Technical departments to obtain the latest
information prior to specification and purchase.

Build with ease