Characterised by their ship-lap concrete panels, Airey houses were constructed in the post-war years as part of the massive housebuilding programme.

However, moisture ingress over many years can result in deterioration and structural weakening and Airey properties were declared defective under the Housing Act of 1985.

Gateshead Housing Company is currently assessing the suitability of the Novabrik dry-built brick cladding system from Acheson & Glover Group for the external refurbishment of its 500 post-war Airey-type homes.

The new frame helps create an insulated cavity which is closed off with ply sheeting. An outer skin of Novabrik cladding is then fitted. The Novabrik masonry units overlap and lock together, forming a weather-proof and breathable outer skin. Because the system is wall-hung, it does not need concrete footings like conventional brickwork re-cladding. There is no mortar or wet trades involved and, as the Novabrik skin is only 75mm thick, existing eave overhangs are not compromised.