Cardiff University, one of the UK’s most successful research and teaching universities, has further enhanced its existing facilities with the development of an impressive extension, housing the Department of Physics and Department of Computer Science. Constructed by main contractors Mowlem plc, the extension has made extensive use of Thermalite aircrete products for the external walls. The £3.5 million purpose built research facilities contain over 40 rooms and stand over four storeys.
Thermalite’s Hi–Strength blocks, specified for both their acoustic and thermal performance, have been used as an integral element in the wall build process, with over 40,000m2 of blocks used in the external cavity wall around the building envelope and within dividing walls.
Hi-Strength blocks have been specifically developed to meet the requirements for 7N/mm2 walling applications, such as this multi-storey building. It is half the weight of other blocks of equal compressive strength, with the 100mm option weighing just 7.5kg, and provides significant improvements in productivity as well as thermal and sound insulation.
Review and Comment
Robert Adlam, Projects Manager at Cardiff University commented: “It was necessary to select materials that promoted the most efficient use of labour resources and speed of construction. Thermalite’s Hi Strength blocks offered a number of significant construction advantages over comparable materials, including the fact that they were available in a strength of 7 newtons and complied fully with CDM regulations for handling on site.
“The acoustic values of Thermalite blocks also met both the requirements of the University and the Building Regulations, making Thermalite the ideal choice for the development.”