House Building Element or HBE, is a little known building product that is set to change how we construct buildings in the UK. Used widely around the world in a variety of buildings, this product is one of Germany’s best kept secrets. We work as the UK based sales agency for HBE specialists, Huettemann. Huettemann are based in Wismar, Germany, and have been producing the best in German timber engineering for over 100 years.
They specialise in Glulam production which they make in their factory in Wismar, the production is seamless and produces minimal waste due to their ability to make shavings from the waste product, and pass on the smaller parts of timber waste to an adjoining factory which creates fire bricks.
This product is effortlessly eco-friendly, the efficiency of the production actually means this product has zero carbon footprint.
So why is it not used more in the UK? Good question, when you learn about Glulam and it’s form in HBE, you can’t help but wonder why it’s not used more, and simply, it’s because it is not yet widely known.
So what is HBE? The best way to think of HBE is it removes the need for brick in your building construction – but wait, won’t this mean you end up with a house that looks more akin on the side of a Swedish mountain with your ski’s propped against the door. Simply, no, you treat HBE in the same way you treat the external bricks, i.e. you add insulation, a waterproofing layer, then you render or timber clad as normal. Interior walls can have plaster board directly nail gunned to the HBE or you can leave the timber exposed where ever you want, it can be painted or have a wash added to suit your taste.
So why use it instead of brick? You can build a 5 bedroom house in 5 days.
In addition to the enormous amount saved in labour cost, buildings constructed with HBE are more sound proof, massively more heat efficient all with a renewable, eco-friendly product.
How is this different to CLT (cross laminated timber). In CLT construction, you have to pay for the elements of timber you wish to remove from your walls, for example, your windows and doors have to be removed from a CLT wall and you have to pay for the waste product. HBE can be pre-cut with your doors and windows to you only pay for the material you use.
HBE is a hugely flexible product that can be used for all floors, walls and ceilings, and can be used for extensions onto brick buildings.