A one-bedroom apartment block was built in just under six hours (5 hours, 55 minutes and 7 seconds) in a world first construction demonstration, the Xella Silka Element Challenge, today [September 26] at the South East Construction Expo held in Ardingly, West Sussex.
Over 2,500 delegates attended the second year of the Expo, where 120 companies in the construction industry exhibited the latest technology, ideas and expertise and dozens of workshops and presentations were held on key topics for the industry.
Masonry Frame Systems (MFS), specialist masonry frame practitioners, worked against the clock, constructing all the structural walls of the apartment, showing just how impressive the latest technology in Xella Silka large-format masonry blocks is, using Lissmac mini-cranes to lay each block in about six minutes.
Norman Hinckes, Managing Director at MFS, said, “MFS built a whole apartment in just one day – the speed of construction has to be seen to be believed, whilst not losing anything in terms of quality and longevity.
“This state of the art ‘semi’ off-site masonry build system (DfMA) demonstrates all the benefits of traditional construction coupled with the speed, quality and consistency of ‘off-site’ manufacturing. This has to be the way for the future to tackle the housing shortage!”
Koen Buyck, CSO Xella UK, said, “The need for new methods of construction in the UK and the focus from Xella on the digitalised way of building through the Building Information Modelling (BIM) process simply has to be successful!”
The Xella Group is market leader in Europe for innovative and economical solutions for building, based in Germany. The collaboration on the challenge included Lissmac from Poland and Masonry Frame Systems from the UK.
Leading lights in the construction industry joined together at the one-day trade show, showcasing the region’s largest range of construction products and services.
An exciting programme of speakers included Florence Hubert, Deputy Agent for Central Southern England at the Bank of England giving an ‘off-the-record’ briefing on the outlook for the UK economy followed by a questions and answers session. Heathrow Airport also spoke about their expansion and opportunities for construction companies.
Big name businesses involved include Balfour Beatty, Bam, W.Stirland, Morgan Sindall, Glenigan, Countryside, Cheesemur, Wates, Builders Conference, Willmott Dixon, Galliford Try, Sunninghill, Logan Construction and Westridge Construction Ltd.