Aircrete Infil for Steel Frame Temple
February 2021

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: β€œIt 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.