Brick shortage can be tackled with introduction of formwork system

  • 5 Nov 2014

Foamwork systems offer a solution to the brick shortage

Housebuilding starts are growing at the fastest rate since 2003 – and with this a shortage of materials that have meant delays and frustration for some. The need to look to alternative construction methods has, therefore, never been more pertinent. Permanent formwork systems are particularly worthy of consideration, as they aren’t affected by supply shortages, due primarily to the way in which they are manufactured using a mix of treated recycled timber and cement to create building blocks that are readily available.

Suitable for use on projects measuring up to 26 storeys, permanent formwork systems can be used almost anywhere and are incredibly easy to build with. Simply stacked together before liquid concrete is poured into the central recess, the system can help overcome the delays currently associated with brick and blocks builds.

What’s more, due to the simple method by which a building of this nature can be put together, skilled labourers are not required, further aiding the speed with which such a project can be completed. From a practical perspective, permanent formwork systems can also be used to build in weather of any kind. This is certainly not the case when using bricks.

Wet or freezing conditions can make it impossible to continue building due to the way in which the elements interact with mortar, causing it to run, stain and crack brickwork. In fact, when the temperature is 5°C or below, builders tend to stop using bricks and blocks due to the mortar freezing. Conversely, permanent formwork systems are not affected by the weather and can be used in conditions as low as -20°C, due to the way in which they are manufactured and the concrete fill being insulated.

This means building work can continue all year round – a point of real significance when looking at how to overcome unnecessary delays. Financially speaking, this unrivalled speed of construction also represents significant installed cost savings too, which can be particularly attractive when working on projects with a limited budget and, indeed, short time frame in which to ensure the project is completed.

Foamswork systems aren’t affected by supply shortages

Speeding up construction

Of course, permanent formwork systems offer much more than a quick-to-build solution; the way in which such blocks are manufactured means the systems offers excellent levels of insulation – especially important when constructing multi-dwelling properties, schools and hospitals, for example.

Due to the system make-up, combining a high density concrete structure with internal plaster finishes, permanent formwork systems offer excellent acoustic advantages, ensuring the necessary control of reverberation to aid intelligibility – in the case of Durisol’s own system, party walls have been tested to 63dB.

Due to a combination of its inherent thermal insulative properties, coupled with additional forms of insulation such as mineral wool, graphite ESP and PIR, which are concealed within the central recess, some permanent formwork systems can also offer a U-value as low as 0.15 thus aiding greatly reduced heating costs as a result. In line with the requirements of BS EN 1363-1, permanent formwork systems also offer outstanding levels of fire resistance.

Building work can continue all year round despite bad weather

With the timber used in the construction of a permanent formwork system being treated prior to manufacture, coupled with the inherent fire resistant properties that cement offers, systems of this nature provide exceptional levels of resistance making them perfectly suited for use in almost any kind of build. Unfortunately, a greater level of education is required throughout the industry to ensure that more is understood about the various benefits that such a system can offer.

By working alongside the guidance of a construction specialist versed with the numerous issues currently facing the industry, it is possible to ensure that projects are not unnecessarily delayed – a point which may otherwise appear to be unavoidable to those unfamiliar with the alternatives available. 

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