Budget announcement: why material choice will play a part in the solution to the housing crisis

As the Chancellor announced plans to build 300,000 new homes per year to help address the UK housing crisis, it is clear that money alone is not the solution to the problem. 

Innovation within the industry also needs to help drive the market, by providing products and services to meet a target that many think is ambitious at best.

There needs to be a consideration on how we can drive additional output, improve the speed, efficiency and production of the build while of course maintaining quality. And one answer lies in making smarter decisions about the building materials chosen to construct these new homes. There are modern products, systems and methods available that could be part of the solution to help address the housing crisis for the long term.

Wieneberger’s Porotherm Clay Block Walling System is one such example. Despite being relatively new to the UK, Porotherm has been a mainstay in Europe for a number of decades and has worked very successfully, earning a reputation for being an efficient, speedy and cost-effective alternative to tradition construction methods.

The Porotherm system mixes the traditional properties of clay with modern methods of construction; it is a precision-made solution using a thin joint mortar application which improves the speed of build but doesn’t falter on quality.

Porotherm allows building to storey height in one day to be easily achievable thanks to the interlocking aspect of the blocks which eradicates the need for mortar in its vertical joints, which in turn means less time is spent on site making the system a more cost-effective solution.

Using Porotherm also means there’s an improved sense of efficiency onsite; precision engineering means no sharp corners, reducing the risk of cuts; the blocks are generally lighter than concrete, allowing workers to maintain steady production rates without the risk of repetitive strain injuries. Also as the bed joint mix is mixed locally to the workplace, there’s a reduction in forklift movements, less plant/pedestrian contact and no need for noisy cement mixers.

The lasting performance of Porotherm speaks for itself. Being a clay product it has a naturally long life span of 150 years and can boast long durability as well as having fantastic thermal properties. This means the benefits extend beyond the construction process by performing extremely well in the home, which in turn provides a positive impact on the residents, local authorities and housing associations.

Ultimately, Porotherm has all the ingredients to achieve faster build programmes than traditional masonry but doesn’t waver on its outstanding quality. Not only does the system provide an easier and more cost-effective solution for construction workers, there’s also lasting security and performance benefits that will be felt by residents of the homes built with Porotherm in the decades that follow. 

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