Steko Blocks

Steko is an innovative wall system, which uses very accurately engineered large hollow timber blocks which simply slot together. No fixings or glue is needed to form load-bearing wall construction. The blocks are manufactured from small off-cuts of spruce timber, which can be readily obtained from renewable sources. The blocks (640 X 320 X 160 mm wide) weighing 6.5 kg, are manufactured from two 20-mm-thick panels glued to horizontal battens and separated by vertical studs (Fig. 4.34). Units fit snugly together with their tongued and grooved profiles and vertical dowels. Special units include quarter, half and three-quarter blocks as well as components for corners, lintels, wall closers, base plates, wall plates and solid blocks for point loads. Walls can be up to 20 m long without additional bracing, and 3 m high, but up to 4 or 5 storeys high, if the necessary horizontal bracing is provided by the intermediate floors and roof.

Fig. 4.33 Western red cedar shingles. Photograph: Arthur Lyons gives 30 minutes fire resistance. Additional insulation is required externally to achieve the current Building Regulation requirements. Typically, 100 mm of mineral wool and a 20 mm render externally on cellulose filled and internally plastered blocks will achieve a U-value of 0.20 W/m K. The first UK house built with the Steko system, which originated in Switzerland, has been designed and built on a cliff-top site in Downderry, Cornwall.

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