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Lignacite are a leading manufacturer of concrete and masonry products and have one of the most efficient and modern manufacturing sites in the U.K.
Sustainable and Environmentally Sensitive Manufacturing
Lignacite sets the standards for sustainable and environmentally sensitive manufacturing. Our curing chambers re-use heat given off by the exothermic reaction between cement and water and when additional heat is needed, gas emissions are pumped back into the chambers, where blocks absorb CO2.
All water used at Brandon comes from a on site borehole, and is recycled at up to 5000 gallons / hour. Sand and aggregate quarried on land adjacent to the plant saves around 36,000 lorry journeys over the period of extraction. The land is then restored on an annual basis for wildlife conservation.
Main Product Ranges:
All our products are Kitemarked as conforming to BS EN 771-3 Aggregate Concrete Masonry Units. They comply with category 1 Masonry Units and are manufactured under a quality assurance scheme assessed and certified to BS EN 9001:2000 by the British Standards Institute.
Lignacite concrete blocks comprise a range of medium density loadbearing units, used in internal or external walls. Lignacite blocks contribute to sound environmental practices as they contain graded wood particles, a selected waste wood product as an alternative aggregate. They also provide exceptional sound reduction qualities.
Ash GP is a medium density concrete block which is robust, durable and suitable for a range of walling applications. Typical uses include the inner leaf of cavity walls when used with cavity insulation, separating or partition walls, and infill blocks in beam and block flooring systems. Ash GP can also be used externally where rendering or cladding is to be applied to the wall. Ash GP blocks provide a strong background for holding fixings. Ash GP is produced using at least 35% of recycled aggregate (by volume) thereby conserving valuable sources of primary material.
Fibo850 is an excellent light weight house builder block. The block is manufactured from expanded clay lightweight aggregate, and contains up to 24% recycled aggregates by volume.
Lignacrete is a robust and durable block that provides a good background for fixing, and that has excellent acoustic properties and thermal capacity. Lignacrete blocks are used in internal or external walls and manufactured from cement, sand and dense aggregates, and contains up to 20% recycled aggregates by volume.
Further technical information is available to download from the BPi download Library or directly from the manufacturer’s own website.
Lignacite: The sound choice for building development
Following stringent laboratory testing, we are delighted to report that our flagship product, the Lignacite block, has advanced sound insulation qualities, cementing its suitability for modern construction projects.
Tested in accordance with BS EN ISO 10140-2:2010, we investigated the sound reduction qualities of a bare Lignacite block wall and one with a stud wall attached. Using 100mm blocks laid flat, forming a thickness of 215mm, the block walls were tested from 100 hertz (Hz) to 3,150Hz.
The results showed that a bare Lignacite wall had a Weighted Sound Reduction Index (Rw) of 56dB, whereas the wall with a stud panel had a rating of 66dB. The higher the Rw index (expressed in dB), the greater the degree of sound insulation. These results compare favourably with the sound insulation qualities of standard blockwork, with the bare Lignacite block wall insulating sound by 2dB more than a regular concrete block wall.
To put these qualities in context, speech typically registers at 65dB. If Lignacite blockwork is installed with a stud wall, the sound of someone speaking would be completely inaudible to someone in a neighbouring room.
The superior sound insulation properties of these blocks have been attributed to their composition, which includes sand and – unlike other blocks – recycled wood. This gives Lignacite blocks a finer texture, reducing the sound transference.
The results of the test are particularly significant in the context of current construction trends. Tower blocks are increasingly common and more people than ever before are working from home.[i] This means urban inhabitants want more amenities on their doorsteps, resulting in increased numbers of mixed-use developments.
Consequently, people are living and working in closer proximity to each other, as well as to businesses and traffic. This means they are more exposed to noise pollution generated both inside and outside buildings, which a growing body of research shows has a detrimental effect on human health.
For example, a 2015 study in New York City revealed that the mean street noise level was 73dBA. This is concerning because research suggests that long-term exposure to levels above 65dB can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
This research, along with the findings of the Hackitt Report and the Building Safety Act 2022, highlights the importance of ensuring the well-being of end-users during the design and construction of new spaces. Construction materials play a key role in getting this right, which is what prompted the Lignacite team to investigate the sound insulation qualities of their blocks.
Lignacite Chairman, Giles de Lotbiniere, comments: “We were pleasantly surprised by the findings of our test. These results show that it is possible to achieve the desired levels of sound insulation using blockwork, which means building designers may not have to make substantial changes to their plans in order to support end-user well-being.”
The standout qualities of Lignacite concrete blocks, including their thermal, sound and sustainability credentials, have already been recognised and used in significant building projects, including Chelmsford’s new Beaulieu Park housing development, Chelsea Barracks and Battersea Power Station.
If you’d like to find out more about Lignacite and our industry-leading concrete block range, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01842 810678 (Brandon) or 01992 464441 (Nazeing).
Lignacite celebrates 75 years of manufacturing sustainable masonry for Britain
Incorporated on Tuesday 10 June 1947, Lignacite is proudly celebrating its 75th year in business, having contributed to some of Britain’s most renowned and globally celebrated buildings and architecture.
With manufacturing plants located in Brandon, Suffolk and Nazeing, Essex, Lignacite currently produces around 120,000 concrete blocks per day, enough to build approximately 100 houses.
Working closely with leading architects, specifiers, and builders’ merchants throughout East Anglia, London, and the South East, Lignacite supplies many of the major housebuilders and commercial contractors.
The Gherkin, Walkie Talkie, and Olympic Stadium are just a few of the remarkable buildings that have been constructed using Lignacite’s high-quality range of concrete blocks since the company’s inception in 1947.
Countless other developments, from residential to industrial and commercial to educational, have been built with Lignacite’s blocks. As such, Lignacite has made a notable contribution to the British landscape and built environment.
“We’re delighted to have reached this significant milestone in the company’s history,” said Giles de Lotbiniere, Chairman of Lignacite. “Looking back across the 75 years, seeing how far we’ve come and the many groundbreaking projects we’ve been involved with, gives us much to feel proud about. Remaining a family-run business, with the same core principles upon which we were founded, also provides a great sense of fulfillment.”
The story of Lignacite
Step back in time and Lignacite’s story begins with Giles’ Grandfather, Sir Edmond de Lotbiniere, an engineer and ex-serviceman. After retiring from the army, he was approached by an inventor who had produced a new mix design for concrete blocks that included wood, sand, cement, and an expensive admixture.
This proved an attractive prospect at a time when there was a shortage of construction materials and a clear desire to rebuild sites around the country following the end of World War II.
Reciting the story, Giles said: “My grandfather started making blocks in Brandon using the inventor’s formula, but, one day, the admixture ran out. Undeterred, he continued making blocks and they turned out equally well – in fact, a little bit better without the admixture.”
Giles continued: “It transpired that the magic ingredient was wood, which made the blocks light, warm, smooth, and robust in a fire. Inspired by this discovery, Lignacite took its name from ‘lignum,’ which is Latin for wood. To this day, recycled softwood, which would otherwise end up in landfill, is incorporated into our blocks using the same trusted mix design.”
Striving for sustainability
Throughout its history, sustainability has been central to the Lignacite philosophy, contributing to the company’s success and longevity. While the Government is now mandating an industry-wide net zero target for 2050, with interim measures, Lignacite had already committed to its own, earlier target of reaching net zero by 2030.
“We have been working towards this goal for several years,” said Giles. “We have always used a significant percentage of recycled and renewable aggregates in our products and continue to explore other materials. The Shard is just one example of this – built using 140,000 Lignacite blocks, each containing over 50% recycled material.”
Beyond the blocks, Lignacite is going much further to reduce its carbon footprint and operate even more sustainably moving forward. “We generate a significant amount of our electricity through solar panels, and we have recently implemented an app-based electronic proof of delivery system to reduce our paper usage,” explained Giles. “Our Brandon site even has its own borehole, so we recycle all of that water and use it within our manufacturing and curing process.”
With a new manufacturing plant being developed at Brandon and a potential expansion of its Nazeing premises also on the cards, Lignacite has a clear ambition to grow responsibly, providing an exciting outlook for the future.
“We know that architects, merchants, and contractors are looking hard at their supply chains to ensure they are working with ethical and sustainable manufacturers,” said Giles. “Our new plant at Brandon will use considerably less energy than the existing one and be far more efficient. By investing in the sustainability credentials of our business, we are doing our utmost to meet the expectations of our customers and colleagues within the industry so that we remain a trusted and long-term partner for their projects.”
Elaborating on the company’s plans, Giles said: “In the next few years, I hope we may have obtained permission to develop our site at Nazeing and be able to expand our operations there, again enhancing our productivity and, importantly, benefitting our customers. We should also be a way down the road in terms of finding another source of aggregate or having invested in, and secured, our own aggregate supply.
“So long as we keep innovating and keep using a high proportion of recycled materials, we can go on producing a very good and sustainable product that people want and need.”
To learn more about our history, visit: https://lignacite.co.uk/our-history/