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2.0 Benefits

The many benefits of using Hebel PowerBlocks include:

Solid and strong:

Hebel PowerBlocks are made from Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC), a strong, solid masonry building material with the advantage of being 25% the weight of conventional concrete.

Acoustic Performance:

Significantly reduced sound transmission from room-to-room.

Thermal Resistance:

Unique thermal properties result in a more stable inside temperature, reducing the energy
required to heat and cool your home, thereby reducing energy bills.

Environmentally friendly:

73% less embodied energy and 61% less greenhouse gas emissions than comparative masonry products*.

*Source: LCA Report GECA 2006

Fire Protection:

Non-combustible blocks with frameless construction deliver superior fire resistance. Hebel PowerBlock systems also allow you to build right up to your boundary line.

Pest resistance:

Not a food source for termites or vermin and no cavity construction eliminates the chance of harbouring pests.

Design Freedom:

Hebel PowerBlock Wall Systems provide absolute freedom to design and build your ultimate dream home – without compromise.

Technical Support:

Competent technical support through Hebel distributors.

Energy Efficiency

The unique combination of thermal resistance and thermal mass make building with Hebel a smart choice for meeting Australia’s stringent building regulations.

The thermal performance of a building depends on a number of factors such as orientation and size and aspect of windows. The R-Value of walls and floors can significantly affect the energy-rating outcome of dwellings. A 250mm Hebel PowerBlock has 3 times the R-Value of a cavity brick wall (BCA Vol. 2 Figure 3.12.1.3). The use of Hebel in walls and floors will provide increased thermal performance that can allow more flexibility with other design aspects of a building.

The thermal efficiency of Hebel systems will also reduce the reliance on heating and cooling appliances. The combined effects of running a heater less in winter and fans or air conditioning less in summer can have a big impact on energy costs and the environment.

Single Skin Construction

The AAC masonry constructed from Hebel PowerBlock products is called “Plain Masonry” and the blocks are masonry units referred to as a “Solid Unit”. The type of solid unit is “Autoclaved aerated concrete masonry unit” complying with AS/NZS 4455 – Masonry Units and Segment Pavers.

The larger face dimension and being a single skin, Hebel PowerBlock walls are erected quickly when compared to double brick construction.

Image 2.1:  Hebel PowerBlock home

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4.0 Fire

Hebel AAC has a BCA Group Number 1. Hebel PowerBlock walls satisfy BCA 2008 Vol.2 Clause 3.7.1.5 (a) (iii) masonry construction and therefore suitable for boundary wall construction on a Class 1 building.

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10.0 Tools & Equipment for Construction

Hebel PowerBlocks can be laid using construction tools/equipment.

String Line – A string line is required to accurately set out and lay Hebel PowerBlock Walls.

Brick/Blocklaying Profiles – used to gauge the block course are being laid level.

Mixing Bucket – a minimum 20 litre bucket is required for mixing Hebel Mortar, Hebel Adhesive and Hebel HighBuild render.

Electric Drill – an electric drill is required to mix the Hebel Mortar, Hebel Adhesive and Hebel HighBuild render. It is also used to drill clearance holes in the blocks so they can be placed over the tied down rods where required.

Stirrer – fitted to the electric drill, the stirrer is used to mix the Hebel Mortar, Hebel Adhesive and Hebel HighBuild render inside the mixing bucket.

Notched Trowel – the notched trowel is used to apply the Hebel Adhesive to the Hebel surfaces. The width of the trowel must match the block thickness to ensure the adhesive is applied with full and even coverage.

Rubber Mallet – a rubber mallet is required to ‘tap’ the Hebel PowerBlocks onto the adhesive and into place.

Spirit Level – required to install the blocks level and plumb.

Hand Saw – a Hebel handsaw can be used to cut Hebel PowerBlocks to length and height.

Powered Bandsaw – a bandsaw is ideal for cutting Hebel PowerBlocks. (perfect when there are many site cuts to be performed).

Hebel Square – a purpose built square is available for use when marking and cutting Hebel PowerBlocks.

Steel, Plastic and Timber Trowels – these trowels may be required for the installation of the Highbuild render and texture coatings.

Sanding Float – used to even out inconsistencies in the Hebel PowerBlock Wall in preparation for render/texture coats.

Hebel Hand Router – may be used to chase services into solid Hebel walls.

Circular Saw – (fitted with a diamond blade) may be used to chase services into solid Hebel walls.

Electric Router – may be used to chase services into solid Hebel walls.

Crane – may be required to lift large Hebel Lintels and Hebel custom floor panels.

Lifting Grabs – required for use in conjunction with crane for lifting Hebel lintels and custom floor panels.

Scaffold – Scaffold is required when building block walls. The amount of scaffold depends on the height of the walls.

Sealant Gun – required to fill the control joints in the Hebel PowerBlock Walls.

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12.0 PowerBlock Handling

Manual Handling

To minimise the possibility of manual handling injuries, Hebel suggests the following:

  • Use mechanical aids, such as trolleys, forklifts, cranes and levers, or team lifting to move Hebel.
  • Keep the work place clean to reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls, which can cause injury.
  • Plan the sequence of installation to minimise panel movements and avoid awkward lifts.
  • Good lifting techniques to be adopted to minimise the risk of injury.

Mechanically Assisted Handling

Moving and handling Hebel Floor Panels and Hebel Lintels should be done using mechanical aids such us forklifts, cranes and special panel lifting trolleys. Different panel lift attachments are available for installing panels. For purchasing or hire of these devices please contact CSR Panel Systems.

Health, Safety & Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Hebel AAC products are cement-based, which may irritate the skin, resulting in itching and occasionally a red rash. The wearing of gloves and suitable clothing to reduce abrasion and irritation of the skin is recommended when handling Hebel AAC products.

Approved respirators (AS/NZS1715 and AS/NZ1716) and eye protection (AS1336) should be worn at all times when cutting and chasing. Refer to the Hebel Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).

Cutting

The use of power tools when cutting masonry products may cause dust, which contains respirable crystalline silica, with the potential to cause bronchitis, silicious and lung cancer after repeated and prolonged exposure. When using power or hand tools, on Hebel products, wear a P1 or P2 respirator and eye protection. When cutting, routing or chasing Hebel products with power tools, use dust extraction equipment and wear appropriate hearing protection. Refer to the appropriate Hebel MSDS.

Reinforcement exposed during cutting is to be coated with a liberal application of Hebel corrosion protection paint.

Fig. 12.1 Standard personal protection equipment.

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