EPiC database - Concrete block

This material is part of the free Environmental Performance in Construction (EPiC) Database. The EPiC Database contains embodied environmental flow coefficients for 250+ construction materials using a comprehensive hybrid life cycle inventory approach.

Concrete blocks (also known as concrete masonry units or CMU) are precast rectangular shaped blocks manufactured from concrete. They generally contain one or more hollow cavities, which reduces their weight and makes handling easier. Steel reinforcement is often inserted into these cavities, which are then filled with concrete in situ to provide added strength and loadbearing capacity.

Concrete blocks come in a range of sizes, with typical blocks coming in a length of 390 mm, a height of 190 mm and depth of 90, 140 and 190 mm. Each block weighs around 10 kg and has a minimum strength of 15 MPa. A range of colours and surface textures are available.

Blocks are typically used for internal and external walls in both domestic and commercial construction and can be used with or without mortar for loadbearing and non-loadbearing applications.