FAQ

Selected questions about the Gablok building system.

Structure & Stability

No jointing system is required in the building process.

The individual wooden blocks fit into each other, just like a construction set, to form the structure of the house.

The individual insulated wooden blocks from the outer walls are secured together by a vertical rafter system.

Once a floor is finished, these rafters – vertically fixed each 40 cm – joint, with the help of the screws provided, not only all the blocks forming the level but also the lower and upper embossed rails.

You can then apply the material of your choice for the finishes, such as Gyproc panels or any other material of your choice.

In more practical terms, the insulated wood blocks (on a threader or Insulated starter blocks) are nested on a starter. Once a wall is completed, a second rail (the embossed rail) is inserted into the last pile (block under ceiling or insulated belt blocks). It acts as a belt and support for the installation of the floor elements.

Your timber frame is then ready and stable. The same technique is used to fix the interior load-bearing walls.

The calibration of our self-build blocks has a tolerance of 0.5 mm. Up to now, no correction has been made to our projects.

The wooden structure of the house is fixed to the floor with anti-wrench angle plates. The concrete slab is built as for a traditional house.

We have our own flooring system. It is not necessary to cover it with a concrete slab. We provide all the beams and lintels required to make the floor.

The concept consists of wooden beams that could support very long spans.

The compressive strength of a wall with insulated wooden block is 150 kN/m.

The lintels are the closing elements above the doors and frames.

Our longest lintels are 240 cm long. The beams have a very important span and they fit within the project.

The floor elements have a full span of 4.80 m. However, it is possible to increase this span by interposing a beam.

In terms of payload, the floor elements allow a load of 250 kg/m².

Electrical & Plumbing Installation

If insulated wooden blocks fit into each other to form the load-bearing walls of the house, you may need some advice concerning more technical issues.

Some issues include electricity, alarm and plumbing.

Don’t worry, the Gablok system has foreseen everything.

The distance between two rafters that hold the insulated wooden blocks together is referred as a “technical duct” and it is +- 40 cm. This distance allows you to easily install the various technical connections required for the smooth running of your house.

The floor elements are also provided with a 10 cm space allowing the passage of your water piping system, sanitary facilities and electrical wiring.

Product

Among all the insulators available, Gablok has made the choice of expanded polystyrene with graphite additive (EPS) for its building system.

EPS is about 98 % air. The remaining 2 % is material derived from oil refining. EPS gives a second life to this material that could not have been used as a fuel.

The basic product has the form of styrene beads. The beads increase their volume by 40 times their size into contact with water vapour without solvents or other adhesives.

The wood used for Gablok’s building elements is 18 mm thick OSB: a blend of natural resin and wood slats (chips). What makes OSB special is the fact that wood used for its manufacturing is highly compressed. It remains stable over time since it no longer works.

Our insulated wooden blocks are designed to build up the shell of a construction.

When drawing up your plans, we try to closely fit your needs so that your building project remains faithful to your wish, while staying simple to carry out.

As far as the finishes are concerned, we can also adapt the construction according to the type of coating you want.

Afrigablok detain the licence of Gablok concept on the African continent.

Afrigablok deploys production sites in various African countries to provide from local.

The fact that Gablok building blocks are entirely designed in Belgium is what brings an added value to our products.

Gablok wall elements are available in 3 different lengths: 30 cm, 60 cm, and 90 cm.

The height and depth of the individual blocks are always. They are 30 cm.

The 60 cm insulated wooden block weighs only 7.5 kg, which makes it very easy to handle.

Eco-friendly

Contrary to what you may think, styrene monomer is a component that is naturally found in plants. It is not bad for health, it remains stable over time, it has no negative impact on the environment and it is neither toxic nor polluting.

In everyday life, we find EPS in some food packaging because it does not cause any allergies or illnesses.

EPS is environmentally friendly. It also has the great advantage of being a high-performance insulation system.

The carbon footprint of a traditional house or timber frame insulated with EPS will be superior to that of a masonry construction.

EPS requires less transport given its small size and takes up less space.

Because of its expanding capacity, it does not use considerable amounts of water and energy to increase its shape. Afrigablok conducts the expansion work locally, than moulds the EPS into the insulating blocks we use.

EPS is a recycled and recyclable product.

In addition to providing high-performance insulated wooden blocks for self-build projects, Afrigablok and the Gablok concept are perfectly in tune with today’s concerns.

Gablok has been designed and studied to have a less negative impact on environment.

The insulated wooden blocks are produced locally with recyclable materials.

The wood to make our self-build blocks is OSB. This wood product consist of compressed wood slats, which makes it 100 % recyclable.

Our blocks include EPS (expanded polystyrene) for insulation. EPS is a material that requires little energy for its manufacturing and little water, since it takes up 40 times its size in contact with heat alone, while retaining formidable insulating capacities. It is a 100 % recyclable material.

In order to keep a clean environment even on the building site, the construction blocks are delivered to the construction site on bonded pallets with the necessary equipment to place your possible waste.

The blocks fit together without the need to use a toxic joint.

You will get the number of blocks necessary for your project after a self-build plan is completed.

Energy Efficiency

The EPS insulation designed for Gablok insulated wooden blocks is combined with OSB formwork.

The blending of wood and EPS allows Afrigablok constructions to benefit from a very interesting insulating value and energy performance.

The thermal conductivity (“U” value) of a wall built in Gablok is 0.15 w/m²k. Our insulated wooden blocks will be able to meet the 2021 EPB requirements.

The thermal conductivity value (“λ” value) of the EPS is R=0.035w/mK.

The EPB is studied on a case-by-case basis, depending on each building site. The energy performance of buildings (EPB) is evaluated based on a number of precise criteria whose value differs depending on the type of dwelling. These criteria correspond to the characteristics that define a dwelling.

For instance: the different types of insulation (roof, exterior walls, interior walls, …) used, the type of frame and window surfaces, the orientation of the house or the heating system.

In a building project using the Gablok concept, as for any other building, it is impossible to give a precise value of the EPB without knowing the other data (heating system, ventilation system, degree of insulation of the windows and so on).

Nevertheless, we can assert that the thermal conductivity (“U” value) of our wall is U=0.15 w/m²k. Our insulated wooden blocks will be able to meet 2021 EPB requirements.

Today, the thermal conductivity required by the EPB for a wall is U=0.24 w/m²k

The thermal conductivity of a passive house wall is U=0.10 w/m²k.

Mounting

Afrigablok provides you with insulated wooden blocks for the structure of your house.

After drawing up the plans for your self-build project, we provide you with the guidelines to carry out your building.

We provide you with technical assistance during the time of your self-build project, if necessary.

Social Impact

For the show houses, Afrigablok intends to build in different locations, we will import the materials from Europe for a fast delivery reason.

In the meantime, Afrigablok will be deploying the factories at national or regional levels to produce every element of the concept locally.

Afrigablok’s focus is to limit imports of products manufactured abroad to promote local employment and skills transfer.

Afrigablok’s main value is “For Africa, BY Africa”