building blocks

Ytong low energy block: a sustainable building block
Ytong low energy blocks have unrivalled insulating properties and are used to construct internal partition walls and load bearing external walls. The blocks can be laid in either general purpose mortar or thin layer mortar. Mortars for use with Ytong blocks should be as described in BS EN 998-2 Specifications for Mortar for Masonry. The dimensional accuracy of Ytong blocks make them also ideal for use with thin joint mortar. With Ytong low energy blocks, Xella sets the new standard for energy efficient, solid building; load bearing aerated concrete blocks with excellent thermal properties (till-lambda 0.07).

The Ytong low energy block is not only highly thermally efficient it is also highly sustainable. In all stages of its life cycle: during the extraction of base materials, during production, while being used and finally when recycled.

  • The block consists of sand, lime and cement - natural abundantly available raw materials that are obtained from responsibly managed extraction sites.
  • The production process creates very little CO2 emissions. Most energy is consumed in curing the product by means of steam, and even then technology keeps energy consumption to an absolute minimum.
  • Once manufactured, the lightweight blocks can be transported and used efficiently.
  • The blocks retain their  roperties during the entire lifespan of a building: they never lose their energy efficiency or structural values.
  • When a building is demolished the blocks can be used again for the manufacture of new aerated concrete.

Specification of general purpose mortar
When specifying general purpose mortar, the following details of the project should be taken into account:

  • the type of masonry unit to be used
  • the structural requirements
  • the degree of exposure of the site
  • the level of workability required
  • the location of the masonry, i.e. above or below, ground level

When selecting a suitable mortar specification, it is important to ensure that the composition is compatible in strength with the blocks selected for the project.

Thin joint construction
Thin joint construction is a recognised method of building masonry walls which replaces conventional 10 mm cement-sand mortar joints with a 2-3 millimetre joint. Thin joint has been used in Europe for more than 40 years and is now growing in popularity in the UK due to the availability of aircrete blocks which are manufactured to the exacting tolerances required such as Ytong. Furthermore due to both stricter building and environmental  regulations the benefits of this quick, easy and highly effective building method will become more and more apparent. Buildings constructed using thin joint make it possible to optimise the thermal performance of a building and minimise the CO2 emissions over the building’s entire lifespan. To help achieve all of these benefits the dimensional accuracy of the blocksis extremely important. All Ytong blocks are produced with upmost care for dimensional accuracy and are therefore suitable for thin joint construction.