Contractors hit by concrete block shortages

Grant Prior 6 years ago
Share

Sites are being hit by a shortage of concrete blocks as production struggles to keep up with demand.

Supply problems are most acute with aircrete blocks as raw materials used in their manufacture run dry.

The blocks use pulverised fuel ash (PFA) as a raw material which is a by-product of coal fired power generation.

Gradual closure of coal-fired plants for cleaner energy sources has reduced the amount of fresh PFA.

Stockpiled PFA is still available in huge quantities.

But the older material doesn’t have the same performance characteristics as fresh PFA so manufacturers are having to adapt their production processes.

Calum Forsyth, managing director of manufacturer H+H said: “The inevitable result is a short-term pressure on supply.

“While H+H is able to utilise stockpiled PFA we have had to accelerate the development of our production process to accommodate the different characteristics of this raw material.

“As with any significant change to manufacturing, this has required considerable adjustments to ensure quality of the finished product is acceptable.”

“The net result is a reduction in yield.  While our plants are still producing around 30% more volume than was the case four years ago, we are facing pressure to supply the growing demand.”

Forsyth said this is a “short term difficulty” but warned that regular customers would be favoured while shortages continue.

He said: “In the immediate future we are focusing on directing all of our output to the customers with whom we have long-term supply contracts in place.

“This will mean increased pressure on the spot-market for blocks for those who do not have agreements with H+H.”

Latest news

Contractors lift tender margins to 9% on bids in the Capital

Developer Landsec to press ahead with trio of London office schemes this year despite cost inflation
21 hours ago

Fire safety work plunges Countryside to £182m loss

Countryside Partnerships forms dedicated division to handle retrofits on a 123 buildings
20 hours ago

Site wages row looms as union dismisses “derisory” pay offer

Unions want 10% increases but employers offer less than 4%
21 hours ago

Fusion wins Manchester high rise student block appeal

Planning inspector overturns city council refusal for 28-storey Deansgate block
21 hours ago

Failed London fit-out specialist owed trade firms £13m

Twenty 1 Group owed HMRC £9.7m leaving more than 300 firms with no hope of payment
1 day ago

Demolition work imminent on half-built Taylor Wimpey flats

Angry local residents share pictures of site set to be torn down
20 hours ago

B&K returns to strong profit growth across the group

Pre-tax profit jumps 23% to £65m as revenue edges up to £1.18bn
2 days ago

British Land expects tender price inflation to hit 10%

Developer says 91% of costs are fixed on planned schemes
2 days ago

Morgan Sindall set for £80m leisure and health hub

West Suffolk public service development to be built at no extra cost to tax payers
2 days ago

Plans in for £500m Hollow Mountain pumped hydro scheme

Work removing 2m tonnes of rock could start within two years
3 days ago

L&G to pump £4bn into West Midlands developments

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street signs landmark investment deal with L&G
2 days ago

Hunt starts for £250m Stockport 8 site developer

Town centre 8-acre site is earmarked for 1,200 homes, shops and leisure
3 days ago

Higgins bags trio of East London passivhaus schemes

Partnership to build 220 affordable homes for Newham council
2 days ago

Water industry revives PFI model for £1bn job

Vast Haweswater Aqueduct upgrade to pilot new DPC model, hailed as the future for water companies
3 days ago

VolkerRail fined £550,000 after trench collapse

Court hears how two metre deep excavation was unsupported
3 days ago

‘Ratty the Robot’ takes bite out of costly pipe inspections

Pipe-crawling tetherless robo-rat makes light work of complex underground inspections
3 days ago

Graham gets green light for £124m M25 Junction 28

Consent allows work to start this Autumn on Essex junction upgrade
3 days ago

Six win £600m panelised housing DPS deal

Better Building alliance of 29 housing associations signs up manufacturers
3 days ago

Watkin Jones reports record £2bn pipeline

Student rooms and BTR builder plans corporate name change in big rebrand
3 days ago

Race starts for £500m Scottish zero carbon hospital job

Bidding starts for new University Hospital Monklands near Airdrie
4 days ago

Manchester airport taxis out £60m terminal 2 pier job

Bidding to start before the end of 2022 for project start early next summer
4 days ago

Plan for 1,100-home complex at Leicester factory site

Galliford Try investments plots Corah Factory transformation
4 days ago

Axed House by Urban Splash staff plan legal action

Ex-workers consult with lawyers following administration
4 days ago

Summer slowdown fears as latest contract award data droops

Latest Barbour ABI Snap Analysis paints uncertain picture
4 days ago

Farrans wins £39m Somerset recycling hub

Site preparation gets underway for Keynsham Recycling Hub
4 days ago

Balfour gets green light for £250m M25 junction 10

Autumn start for M25 junction 10/A3 Wisley interchange improvement scheme
7 days ago

Leeds plumbing contractor sinks with loss of 30 jobs

Dickinsons Plumbing and Heating goes down but renewables arm salvaged in sale
7 days ago

HS2 achieves first diesel-free construction site

Skanska Costain STRABAG JV runs Kilburn site with green kit
7 days ago

Administration confirmed at House by Urban Splash

160 jobs lost following "operational issues" at modular factory
1 week ago

Network Rail fined £1.4m after worker crushed by track machines

Judge highlights "many layers of failure" within site management
1 week ago

Contractor services