Builders' Merchants News

Wienerberger opens dedicated porotherm training centre

Published:  30 October, 2009

MANCHESTER: Following the UK launch of its engineered clay block system, Porotherm, earlier this year, Wienerberger has opened a dedicated training centre for skilled brick and block layers. Developed in partnership with Midlands-based builders’ merchants, and Porotherm System Distributor E H Smith, the new Porotherm Training Centre is in Longbridge, Birmingham.

The Centre, which is situated within the E H Smith depot, is designed to provide practical ‘hands-on’ demonstrations and training for construction professionals from around the UK.

And it’s a strategy which is proving successful, with participants reporting laying speeds of up to 10 to 15 m2 an hour by each man after training – more than four times faster than the time taken to lay traditional masonry.

“In difficult times, the temptation is to launch a new product or system without offering training,” explains Tophaven Properties managing director Ian Johnson. “But that’s really short-sighted. Often the key to cost savings is the speed, skill and experience of the brick or block layer – especially in the case of a precision engineered system such as Porotherm.”

Wienerberger recommends that as many members of the project team as possible attend the training course in order to maximise the design, construction and cost saving benefits offered by this tried and tested block system.

“Porotherm is already the industry standard in other European countries,” adds construction systems director Phil Noble, “and it’s not hard to see why. However, we do understand that it’s a technical solution which people need to see in order to understand how and why it offers such a great alternative – particularly in fast-track applications. We would like as many professionals as possible to get their hands on it and work with it because, once they have done so, we believe the advantages will speak for themselves.”

Feedback from ‘trainees’ has been positive with many commenting on the additional health and safety benefits of the system, including easy handling of the lightweight blocks and a reduction in cuts and grazes due to the snag-free surface.

As the world leader in clay bricks and blocks, Wienerberger is currently working with a number of building colleges to establish an accredited syllabus for engineered perforated clay blocks.