Wembley Innovation says system will reduce number of 'wind posts' that need to be inseted along blockwork walls by 60%
The first large-scale installation of a new block work wall system that enables larger spans and fewer wind post has taken place on a data centre in Basildon, Essex.
The patented system which has been developed by Wembley Innovation in conjunction with multidisciplinary consultant Buro Happold and Ceram Research, has been installed by contractor Pyramid Builders and enabled large spanning masonry infill walls of 9m to be installed between the steel structural frame and reduced the number of wind posts - the vertical steel posts inserted at 4m intervals in long blockwork walls - by 60%.
The 'WI Beam' system uses steel rebar placed horizontally through the wall and anchored at the corners to give the wall the strength to resist lateral loads.
In addition to increased wall spans and removal of wind posts the system has enabled a 2m high clear space between WI Beams for service penetrations and limited vertical movement-joints to 9m centres.
Hamish Corbett, managing director, at Wembley Innovation said: “The system is now commercially proven to eliminate costly, disruptive and intrusive wind posts, and to improve wall integrity by maximising the air tightness, acoustic and fire performance - meaning it will also enhance energy-efficiency.”
The system can also be used to provide built-in lintels for door and window openings and vehicle impact resistance.
In addition Buro Happold, CERAM Research and Jenkins and Potter, have developed a design guide for 'masonry reinforced by bond beams' based on the research.