Independent builders’ merchant, EH Smith, has opened a new Porotherm Training and Demonstration centre in Olton, West Midlands.
The Solihull-based merchant, a distributor of the clay block walling system produced by Wienerberger, uses the new centre to highlight its many benefits through running demonstration days and corporate training in how to lay Porotherm.
The £100,000 centre has a spacious room for presentations alongside a large, fully equipped training facility and work area.
Phil Griffiths, Porotherm sales manager at EH Smith, said: “It’s an excellent facility which gives us the space to showcase the benefits of using Porotherm and help train businesses which are new to it.”
The popularity of Porotherm in large builds is continuing to increase thanks to its range of benefits, including speed of build, improved air tightness and the ability to build even during adverse weather, along with thermal and acoustic benefits.
Among the companies which have taken advantage of the new training facilities is McCarthy & Stone, which used Porotherm to build a development in Dorridge, West Midlands, and is currently building a large new development of bedroom apartments in Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire.
Griffiths said: “The Ashby scheme is one of a number of projects either successfully completed or under construction, and the results achieved have been acknowledged by McCarthy & Stone as game-changing. We look forward to working closely with Wienerberger’s Porotherm technical team and McCarthy & Stone to develop and support a growing number of projects.”
Tim Lightfoot, construction director at McCarthy & Stone, said the company saw a large number of benefits of using Porotherm, including simplicity and speed, and considerable savings on build time.
He said its new development in Stratford, which contains up to 60 apartments, had “Porotherm written all over it”, adding: “Using Porotherm changes the critical path, so that instead of getting our first units weather tight at week 25, we would be looking at week 20.
“You’re not only decreasing your heavy build period but also giving yourself more programme certainty to deliver, so it’s a huge benefit to us. By hitting our weather tight date earlier, it enables us to create our show home quicker and get potential customers in quicker; 16 weeks ahead of opening rather than eight.”
Porotherm is also an alternative block to help businesses struggling because of an aerated block shortage. EH Smith supplied Porotherm last year to Ben Pentreath, one of the UK’s foremost architectural and interior designers, for the restoration of a magnificent Grade II-listed country house, Fawley House in Oxfordshire.