WHAT IS POROTHERM?
Porotherm is a natural fired, solid clay construction block. It is available in a range of sizes, complete with accessory blocks, in accordance with the climatic/thermal requirements for each project and/or region. Solid clay construction has been the primary building material throughout Europe for hundreds of years and is now used extensively throughout the world.

WHO IS WIENERBERGER?
Wienerberger, Europe - is the largest worldwide company producing clay construction blocks, clay roofing tiles, clay facing bricks, clay facing tiles and clay pavers. Founded in 1819, Wienerberger was publicly listed in 1901. Wienerberger now exports worldwide with 202 plants in 30 countries and is the market leader for clay facing bricks, roof tiles and pavers. Wienerberger stands for high-quality natural clay products, which are marketed under the brands KORAMIC, POROTHERM, TERCA, PENTER and ARGETON. Wienerberger produces roof, wall, façade and paving from pure natural clay. Brick is one of the oldest building materials in history and therefore sets a perfect example for the modern concept of sustainable products. Wienerberger is exemplary for its diverse designs and creations, energy-efficient construction and durable quality, holding their value for a very long time. Building with Wienerberger therefore, represents an economically and ecologically sound investment in the future.

WHO IS STELLARIA?
Stellaria NZ Ltd is the NZ distributor for all Wienerberger products.

IS POROTHERM SUITABLE FOR SEISMIC ZONES?
Clay construction is design-engineered to be twice as strong as conventional construction methods. POROTHERM, in it's current form, has been used extensively throughout Europe for the past 45 years and is now used worldwide in many high seismicity zones such as Russia, China and Europe. Rigorous shake table testing documentation is available to show the extent of tests carried out by Wienerberger Engineers, meeting the highest Euro standards. This construction method is extremely strong.

WHAT IS THE R-VALUE?
Wienerberger has developed an extensive range of Porotherm blocks to suit all climates and personal requirements for heating and cooling. For example, Porotherm CLIMAmur42 has an R value of 5.4. Porotherm CLIMAmur36 has an R value of 4.64. Porotherm 25Th+ has an R value of 1.7. Porotherm R25 has an R value of 1.02. There are many different blocks to suit your climate and personal preferences – without the need for add-on insulation systems i.e strapping & lining, direct fix insulation, panel etc.

WHAT IS THE ACOUSTIC VALUE OF POROTHERM?
The acoustic rating for R25 is Rw + C 42. LR42Th+ is Rw + C 44.

IS POROTHERM WATER-PROOF?
Due to the thermal matrix design of the clay block which is 250mm wide and kiln fired at temperatures of 1200c, water penetration is minimal. A lime plaster system which is breathable, waterproof and organic - is applied without the necessity to paint the exterior plaster finish.

DOES POROTHERM NEED A FLASHING SYSTEM?
Minimal standard masonry flashings if required. No more than CCANZ CP 01: 2014 prescribes. 

HOW ARE THE FIXINGS ATTACHED TO THE WALLS
Standard masonry fixings.

HOW IS THE PLUMBING PIPING & ELECTRICAL CABLING
INSTALLED?

Porotherm is easily cut by a builder, plumber or electrician using the De Walt Alligator saw (it cuts like butter) to create the required chasing. This is a specialised saw developed specifically for cutting clay blocks.

HOW MANY BLOCKS DO I NEED PER SQ/M?
A standard 250 Porotherm block requires 8 blocks per m2. By comparison, standard concrete blocks require 12.5 blocks per m2.

WHAT IS THE SPEED OF CONSTRUCTION - HOW MANY SQ/M PER MAN HOUR TO LAY?
Wienerberger estimate 10 square metres per man hour. In general, Porotherm is 4 times faster to lay than traditional concrete building methods. This will have a huge impact on the end cost to build. Labour cost is the largest component of costs to any construction company or builder. Porotherm significantly reduces this.

WHAT IS THE COMPARATIVE COST TO TIMBER FRAME & CONCRETE BLOCK?
To date, we are able to estimate that the material purchase price of Porotherm is on a par with concrete blocks and 15-20% more
expensive than timber frame materials. The construction of a timber wall requires 5 applications (timber frame, insulation, paper, GIB board, exterior cladding). Porotherm requires 2 ‘touches’. First, to erect the wall and second to apply the cladding or plaster. 

WHAT IS THE DESIGN AND/OR LIFE EXPECTANCY OF POROTHERM?
The design life of Porotherm is 150 years. The life expectancy of the clay block is many generations.

DOES IT HAVE A GUARANTEE OR WARRANTY?
There is no guarantee required for the blocks. Wienerberger provide copious information for installation. It is a very simple, fool-proof construction method.

IS POROTHERM ECO FRIENDLY AND SUSTAINABLE?
Yes, absolutely. Totally natural clay construction. The Wienerberger sustainability story is at the heart of all their operations. To offset the carbon footprint required to transport from Europe to NZ, Stellaria offer 5 native or specimen trees (of your choice) to everyone building in Porotherm. We believe this gives something back to the environment the only element Stellaria NZ takes from the environment – the cost to ship it here!

WHAT GREEN RATINGS OR CERTIFICATIONS DOES
POROTHERM HAVE?

Porotherm is accepted by AFNOR and IKOBK granting thermal and acoustic certifications. Wienerberger’s sustainability strategy is recognised by the Global Reporting Initiative and The Global Compact which ask companies to embrace, support and enact within their sphere of influence, values in human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Wienerberger officially endorsed the principles of corporate social responsibility by signing the UN Global Compact in 2003. In 2017, Porotherm R25 Th+ Blocks were Declare Certified.

WHAT FIRE PROOFING SYSTEM IS REQUIRED?
None. Porotherm 200 has a F.R.R of 3 hours minimum.

WHAT CLADDING OR PLASTER SYSTEM CAN I USE?
A lime based plaster system by Naturecote NZ is highly recommended being breathable, organic and waterproof - developed specifically for clay block construction. We also recommend Sto Plasters or Ecoprofili Insulating Cork Plaster Alternatively, bricks or any other cladding can be used over a cavity system.

WHAT HEATING OR COOLING SYSTEM IS REQUIRED FOR A POROTHERM HOUSE?
Minimal heating and cooling is required. Porotherm has significantly reduced thermal leakage compared to timber and concrete block construction. Testimonials report heating bills are dramatically reduced due to the passive nature of this block system.

WHICH BLOCKS DO I NEED FOR MY PROJECT?
Depending on your climatic zone in NZ and personal preference for thermal retention, the standard block R25 will meet NZ climate zones 1 & 2. The R25 Th+ in zone 3. If you want a warmer or passive home, apartment or office you can use any of the higher R-value blocks. You will also need the portal, lintel and rebate blocks. Quantity estimates can be calculated for you from your finished architectural drawings.

DO I NEED A SPECIALISED BLOCK LAYER?
No. Porotherm can be installed by any licensed blocklayer or builder with minimal upskilling by our Wienerberger certified installers.

DO I NEED AN ARCHITECT/DESIGNER OR ENGINEER?
Yes. Licensed architect or designer to permit drawings. We recommend Engineer Ted Dowdall, BSc Hons CPEng MIPENZ CEng (UK) MIED MIET MSAE - Chartered Professional Engineer. Structural Engineers NZ Ltd,  SENZ. Ted has extensive clay block design experience in Europe and latterly masonry seismic design in Christchurch.

HOW EASILY WILL I GET A PERMIT?
Stellaria NZ Ltd’s case study permit was processed within 20 working days by Waipa District Council without issue. Two further POROTHERM projects are under construction in the Waikato, consented by South Waikato and Waikato District Council.

CodeMark:

Currently, Stellaria NZ is undergoing accreditation with Qualmark for all POROTHERM products. We expect this to be complete by the end of 2017. 

 

WHAT NZ CASE STUDIES DO WE HAVE?
Pilot project - Curraghmore Stud project, Long Rd, Cambridge, as featured. Two further projects underway in the Waikato District.

WHAT MORTAR DO I NEED?
The Porotherm blocks arrive with the required bags of mortar for your project and is applied using a specifically designed applicator at 1mm thickness. Alternatively, your builder can choose to use Dry-Fix – a special cartridge-applied mortar developed by Wienerberger which is 50% faster and again, cleaner to use.

HOW MUCH REINFORCING STEEL IS REQUIRED?
Depending on design complexity, generally x1 D20 reinforcing steel bar is required at 5m centres and each side of major openings, these housed in the Porotherm column block. Cages comprising 4 D12’s and ties at 300 centres are required at top bond beam and foundation level. These are also required at lintels - no further horizontal reinforcing is required.

HOW ARE THE WINDOWS AND DOORS INSTALLED?
Standard masonry fixings and flashings, where applicable, are used.

HOW MUCH WATER IS REQUIRED FOR CONSTRUCTION?
Porotherm block construction uses 95% less water when laying compared to concrete block construction.

HOW MUCH WASTE IS PRODUCED IN CONSTRUCTION?
Porotherm wastes 45% less than concrete block construction. Any waste is organic - it can simply be crushed and returned to your garden or soil.

WHAT CLIMATE ZONE IS BEST SUITED TO POROTHERM?
Any climate. Porotherm is used in Panama in +45 degree temperatures and in Russia -45 degrees.

WHAT TECHNICAL OR ON-SITE SUPPORT IS THERE AVAILABLE FOR MY BUILDER?
Stellaria NZ Ltd is committed to on-going technical and project management support for all architects/designers or builders specifying Wienerberger products – on site as well as by phone or email.

WHAT COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD USE POROTHERM?
Wienerberger has 202 plants in 30 countries around the world and exports worldwide including China, Russia, America and others.

HOW HEAVY ARE THE BLOCKS?
The blocks range from 14.7 – 20kgs each. The benefit being contractors only have to lift 8 p/sqm as opposed to 12 for concrete construction. In total, a blocklayer would lift 144kgs p/sqm of Porotherm and 225 kgs p/sqm of concrete block. Wienerberger can supply single-hand laying tools to assist.

WHAT IS THE CARBON FOOTPRINT TO PRODUCE CLAY CONSTRUCTION BLOCKS?
As part of Wienerberger’s corporate responsibility, Wienerberger are committed to reducing the CO2 emissions 100% by 2020.

HOW EASY ARE THE BLOCKS TO CUT AND INSTALL?
We recommend your builder purchases a De Walt Alligator saw specifically designed to cut the clay blocks. Cutting is simple, quick and clean with minimal waste.

HOW DO I ESTIMATE THE QUANTITY OF BLOCKS REQUIRED FOR MY PROJECT?
The Stellaria NZ team will help you and/or your architect or builder to estimate the blocks and quantities you will need for your project. We will need you to send us your consent plan drawings and will send a quantity schedule back to you within 7 days. Alternatively, your architect or QS is easily able to estimate quantities required.

CAN POROTHERM BE USED FOR MULTI-LEVEL OR COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION?
Yes, absolutely. Porotherm is engineered for apartments and commercial buildings. Speed of construction, reducing labour costs, reduced heating and cooling costs is of particular interest to commercial developments worldwide.