Knauf Insulation has welcomed a new Robust Detail for aircrete blocks, which has been included within the latest edition of the Robust Detail handbook, released on the 21st September.

The new detail E-WM-30, developed by Knauf Insulation in close co-operation with Robust Details, comprises two leaves of 100mm aircrete blocks, with a 100mm cavity that has been fully filled with the blown mineral wool insulation Supafil® Party Wall. It is the first Robust Detail for aircrete blocks, with a blown retrofit solution that negates the need for a wet parge coat; only a plasterboard lining is required, saving time and money on site. The detail will also achieve three points in the Health and Wellbeing section of Code for Sustainable Homes assessments.

Stephen Wise, Glass Product Manager at Knauf Insulation, said: “We are always striving to develop cost effective solutions for our customers to make their life easier, and this new Robust Detail is no different. We have developed this detail without a parge coat to deliver greater process efficiencies, and it offers high levels of acoustic and thermal performance, which can satisfy the requirements of the building regulations for a zero U-value party wall.”

John Tebbit, Managing Director at Robust Detail, commented: “We very much welcome this new detail, which will provide housebuilders with even more choice when it comes to designing and building properties. Like all new details, it has undergone rigorous in-situ testing and will comply with Part E1 of the Building Regulations in England and Wales.”

Aircrete is a lightweight aerated concrete material that provides good thermal performance and is primarily used for the inner skin of external walls. Cliff Fudge, Technical Committee Chairman at Aircrete Products Association (APA), said: “The new Robust Detail will provide our customers with more options for using aircrete blocks in separating party walls – delivering them the acoustic and thermal performance they need.”

This detail is the latest in an on-going programme of development of Robust Details that Knauf Insulation are working on, to deliver the widest range of party wall solutions for housebuilders.

For more information regarding the Robust Detail please visit

Bounce Back is celebrating the launch of the first Dry Lining Training Centre to open in a London prison in a unique joint initiative with the construction industry.

Supported by Knauf and Encon working with Be Onsite, Land Securities and Lend Lease the centre responds to the urgent need for trained workers in the sector and demonstrates how the industry can support in-prison training in a sponsored model which will see nearly 100 prisoners a year training to enter the workforce.

The facility offers the inmates of HMP Brixton the opportunity to learn dry lining in a state of the art training space. Land Securities, Lend Lease, Knauf and Encon have worked together to make this opportunity a reality, to meet a genuine need within the industry for trained dry liners. Work will be offered to trainees upon release by the partners along with other organisations.

The specific investment of materials by Knauf and the provision of logistics services by Encon have made the centre possible. “It is amazing what can be done when everyone comes together to make something happen,” said Fran Findlater, CEO of Bounce Back. “The need for skills in the construction industry means that the number of potential employees in prison presents a great opportunity.”

The training will be facilitated by Bounce Back who have been successfully running painting and decorating training courses within the prison for over a year. For Bounce Back this is an exciting progression in line with their objective of effectively training offenders with skills that are relevant for employment upon release – either within their own social enterprise or beyond.

The initiative was sparked as labour market information highlighted skills shortages within the construction industry including dry lining. Land Securities and Lend Lease expressed a desire to address this with Land Securities offering opportunities through its Community Employment Programme, supported by Lend Lease. Val Lowman (Lend Lease) put Bounce Back in touch with their dry lining supply chain partners, Encon and Knauf, and the programme evolved.
Debbie Akehurst, head of corporate responsibility in London at Land Securities, said: “Working with partners such as Bounce Back, Lend Lease and Be Onsite means we can really target those furthest from the job market. We have a fantastic opportunity here to train people to meet industry need and help people reach their own potential.”

The programme is targeted to train 70 participants per academic year and offers those referred whilst in custody the opportunity to participate in the CITB C Skills course in dry lining to Diploma Level 2.

Having gained a construction skills qualification whilst in custody, cohorts are well positioned to enter the construction industry workforce immediately upon release. This is a major step in bridging the gap from prison to employment as Bounce Back are further supported by Lend Lease and Land Securities who approach their supply chains to help broker work placements and create sustainable job opportunities.