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Ready-made design details rolled out for masonry envelope joints

Ready-made design details rolled out for masonry envelope joints
Local Authority Building Control and the Modern Masonry Alliance have teamed up to draw up a free set of off-the-shelf design details to minimise heat loss at weak junction points in the building envelope.

The suite of 250 registered masonry construction details is being targeted at smaller and medium-sized builders.

Their use will allow builders a cost-effective means to drawn up designs and specifications that achieve or even surpass required performance standards.
The solution-based construction template will also prevent accidental flaws causing energy to leak.

It also means that building owners can also be assured of lower heat loss, fewer occurrences of condensation - and associated mould - and a healthier atmosphere.
Construction joints came under the spotlight after research showed they are the most vulnerable areas in the building envelope to thermal bridging, allowing heat to leak out while creating problem cold spots internally.

The Government, Zero Carbon Hub and several trade industry trade bodies and manufacturers have pushed for packaged construction details showing how the design, specification of materials and construction of construction joints should be accomplished.

LABC Chief Executive Paul Everall said: “We welcomed the Modern Masonry Alliance when they approached us.

“We have many SME customers and we know they need packaged advice that has already been calculated and examined.

“We are able to provide help in this and it will streamline the plan checking and site inspections performed by our building control surveyors.

He added: “Architects and contractors have a huge desire to get things right and this will help them in a very practical way without increasing their costs. Everybody wins, including the building owners and eventual users.”

Mike Leonard, chief executive of MMA, said: “Greater participation of local builders is vital if we are to see the massive uplift in new home delivery by 2020 we need to address the growing housing crisis.

“This scheme will make it easier for builders of all sizes to select registered construction details that offer cost effective compliance with the recent changes to regulations.

“We know that LABC provides a service to many thousands of local builders throughout England and Wales and we hope to encourage those designing, specifying and constructing buildings to use pre-registered solutions.”

LABC Registered Construction Details can be found at

The new LABC Registered Construction Details will be relevant in England, Wales and Scotland, though there are differences in the calculations due to variations in thermal legislation between the three nations.

LABC and the Modern Masonry Alliance intend to continue to develop further Registered Construction Details to include other elements of the building regulations so that customers can find holistic designs.