If you’re new to the construction industry, you may not have heard about Hebel. As expert Hebel installers in Sydney, our favourite go-to for our building projects is Hebel and for good reason too.
What is Hebel?
Hebel is a strong, versatile and high-performance autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC for short) that comes in panel or block form. Manufactured by CSR Hebel in Australia, the benefits of Hebel are vast including quick installation, energy efficiency, and high performance.
But before we get started, who are the people that manufacture and make Hebel installation possible?
Who is CSR?
CSR Hebel is a leading Australian AAC (autoclaved aerated concrete) manufacturer and a trusted name in the building products industry with over 30 years in the game.
Now that we know the manufacturer of Hebel, let’s delve into the manufacturing process!
What is Hebel made of?
Hebel is made from a mix of natural, raw materials including cement, sand, lime, gypsum, and a small amount of aluminium powder which are combined with water and an expansion agent to produce a ‘slurry’ mixture. The mixture is then poured into moulds. This combination allows the concrete to rise (similar to bread dough rising), resulting in versatile and strong, yet lightweight concrete blocks and panels containing air pockets that help with sound and heat insulation.
The high-quality finished product (made almost 80% of air!) is perfect for solid foundations and can be easily carved, sculpted or cut, meaning it is an extremely versatile building material. But don’t let its lightweight name fool you, a standard Hebel panel is equivalent to 75 bricks and is as solid as any brick and mortar it’s stacked up against! Hebel is made into large panels containing an anti-corrosion steel reinforcement for added strength and maximum durability, perfect for external cladding that is often exposed to the elements.
Want to find out more about Hebel’s manufacturing process?
Check out the video below!
Is Hebel strong?
Yes, Hebel is exceptionally strong. Don’t let its lightweight name fool you, a standard Hebel panel is equivalent to 75 bricks and is as solid as any brick and mortar it’s stacked up against! Hebel is made into large panels containing an anti-corrosion steel reinforcement for added strength and maximum durability, making them the perfect choice for external cladding that is often exposed to the elements.
What finish can I expect on a Hebel project?
Hebel offers a modern, sleek and clean fully-rendered finish which works well in contemporary design. The combinations of colours, render finishes and accessories (such as mouldings and bands) are endless – giving you the design flexibility to suit any desired style or finish.
Which is better, Hebel or Brick?
The debate between Hebel vs brick has been a hot topic in the construction industry. There’s no denying Aussies love their brick houses but there is also no denying that just because something works it does not mean it’s the best option.
Both Hebel and brick are great options and have their benefits. They are both durable and strong.
However, Hebel provides additional advantages over traditional brick. Hebel offers all the benefits of brick while being easy and quick to install. It cuts the house construction time significantly, reducing the expense associated with tradies on site. Hebel, as compared to bricks, also does not have weep holes that stop pests and moisture from entering your home.
Hebel is an eco-friendly premium building material that offers energy efficiency, flexibility and high performance. It is perfect for soundproofing and is a cost-effective choice.
Sure, brick provides a classic design aesthetic, but Hebel offers a modern, clean look much more suited to today’s market. It is for these reasons experts are choosing Hebel over traditional bricks and mortar.
To us, it is no surprise Hebel is fast taking over from traditional methods, it is one of the most innovative products on the market. Although, both brick and Hebel are staples in the construction industry and are strong options for you to consider.
Where can I use Hebel?
Hebel’s high-quality external wall system is perfect for solid foundations and can be easily carved, sculpted or cut, meaning it is an extremely versatile building material.
These strong, versatile and solid Hebel panels are fixed to the frame of your home and assist in the construction of the façade, sides and rear external walls. Hebel is extremely robust and is a fantastic option for attaching weight-bearing external add-ons such as a pergola, shade areas, washing lines, or even a basketball hoop.
It is a common misconception that brick is a better option for external structural add-ons than Hebel. However, this is not true, as both materials have similar impact resistance. In fact, Hebel’s strength and durability are fortified by the presence of anti-corrosion steel reinforcement. This reinforcement helps to maintain the solidity of Hebel, making it a reliable and robust building material for a range of construction applications.
What are the different Hebel products?
Hebel offers a wide range of products designed to meet different construction needs. Here are some examples worth checking out:
What is Hebel PowerPanel?
Hebel PowerPanel is a building product from Hebel made from a mixture of natural materials such as cement, sand, lime, and gypsum. A Hebel PowerPanel also contains steel reinforcements with an anti-corrosion layer for added strength and maximum durability. They are fixed vertically to horizontal battens to a load-bearing frame.
What size is a Hebel power panel?
Hebel panels are available in a variety of sizes and lengths of 1200mm to 3300mm with a width of 600mm. They are 75mm thick and reinforced with steel.
Is Hebel PowerPanel strong?
Hebel PowerPanel is a very strong Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (ACC) building material. They are high-performance and their steel reinforcement ensures maximum strength, durability and resilience for your building project.
Where can I install Hebel PowerPanels?
You can install Hebel PowerPanels in apartments, commercial or industrial buildings and high-rise facades. Hebel PowerPanels can be used for intertenancy walls, corridor walls, shaft walls, services walls and balcony blades.
Does Hebel need control joints?
Yes, Hebel PowerPanel does need control joints. These control joints need to be spaced at a maximum of 6 metres with a minimum of 10mm between the Hebel PowerPanel and the other building component.
What is a Hebel PowerFloor?
Hebel PowerFloor is a high-performance and premium quality lightweight flooring system that is made from Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC). It contains a steel mesh with an anti-corrosion coating, that makes it durable, long-lasting, fire-resistant, energy efficient, and for a feeling of solid concrete for a lot less.
Want to find out more:
Where can Hebel PowerFloor be installed?
Hebel PowerFloor is easily installed over timber or steel joists. A range of floorings can be installed over Hebel PowerFloors including ceramic tiles, carpet, tiles, timber boards, floorboard and directly on the topping slab. The Hebel PowerFloor System is the perfect base for almost any floor coverings, making it an ideal and solid choice for houses, low-rise residential, multi-residential floors and commercial or industrial buildings. It can also be used outdoors for decks and balconies.
What size are the Hebel PowerFloor panels?
The size of Hebel PowerFloor panels is 1800mm x 600mm x 75mm. It is also made from 75mm steel-reinforced AAC panels.
The allowable joist spacing suitable for the 75mm Hebel PowerFloor Panel flooring is 450mm or 600mm only.
Want to find out more?
What are the benefits of Hebel Power floor? / Why choose Hebel PowerFloor?
The main benefits of Hebel Power flooring are that it is eco-friendly, minimises noise transference between floors and is energy efficient. Hebel PowerFloor panels are a great choice for first floors, and suspended ground floors and an excellent high-performance building material. The benefits of Hebel Flooring make it a great investment. It is lightweight, cost-effective, extremely versatile and easy to install. What’s more, it does not squeak, bounce, flex, or warp. It does not rot and is both fire and termites resistant. It is as solid and tough as traditional masonry and as solid as concrete flooring.
What is the fire rating of the Hebel PowerFloor?
Hebel PowerFloor has a fire rating of 90/90/90 Fire Resistance Levels (FRLs) and meets the requirements for all six Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) categories. It is highly fire resistant for peace of mind and is an ideal choice in bushfire zones.
What is Hebel PowerBlock?
Hebel PowerBlocks are large blocks of Autoclaved Aerate Concrete (AAC) that are strong build material option that delivers exceptional acoustic and thermal insulation, superior energy efficiency, fire protection and cost-effective qualities. Hebel PowerBlocks are easy to install, they are extremely durable and a fantastic non-combustible building material.
What size are Hebel PowerBlocks?
The size of Hebel PowerBlocks are 600mm x 200mm. This is the Hebel PowerBlock standard face dimension. Standard external walls use a single skin of 250mm thick Hebel PowerBlocks. Internal, non-loadbearing use 100mm thick PowerBlocks.
Is Hebel PowerBlocks load bearing?
Yes, Hebel PowerBlock+ are load-bearing. They deliver solid masonry qualities and a superior building material, just as solid as brick.
Does Hebel last as long as brick?
Yes, with added strength from the anti-corrosion steel frame and the anti-termite and fire-resistant qualities Hebel lasts as long as bricks. They are just as strong as bricks and do not have weep holes that bricks have that can cause weeping and termites to enter the home.
Where can Hebel PowerBlocks be installed?
Hebel PowerBlocks can be installed in a variety of applications including load-bearing or non-load-bearing walls, roofs, floors and even balconies. They can also be used outside. Hebel PowerBlocks can be sawn, nailed, drilled, and shaped for a variety of installation uses.
What is Hebel PowerFence?
Hebel PowerFence is a cost-effective premium-quality masonry fence of lightweight panels with reinforced steel posts. Hebel Power Fencing provides an easy-to-install, cost-effective and attractive alternative to a COLOURBOND or traditional brick fence. The PowerFence system is specially designed to be durable, provide an effective noise barrier and create a sense of privacy.
Where can I use Hebel PowerFence?
The Hebel FowerFence can be configured in a variety of ways and allows for easy installation and can be used for boundary fencing, ‘stepped’ for sloping terrains, and low front walls without the need for expensive, extensive excavation or strip footing. Hebel PowerFence is ideal for houses, multi-residential projects, low-rise apartments, and commercial or industrial buildings for boundary fencing for added privacy, security and protection.
Why choose Hebel PowerFence?
Hebel PowerFence is a solid, simple, and premium quality building product. It is quick and easy to install. Extremely versatile, and non-combustible, contains steel reinforcement for maximum durability and is a cost-effective alternative to traditional brick.
What is the size of Hebel PowerFence?
The size of Hebel PowerFence posts is 75mm x75mmx 2.5mm and they are supplied in a standard 2.4m and 18m length. They suit up to a 1.8m high fence when anchored in 600mm deep concrete bedded footing.
Hebel PowerFence 75mm size:
- 1800x600x75 SQ 1MO
- 2400x600x75 SQ 1MO
What finish can I expect from Hebel PowerFence?
You can expect an expressed or monolithic finish from a Hebel PowerFence. Although the system is flexible and can be adapted to include a variety of decorative treatments such as timber panels or ironwork. The panels can also be routed to create decorative designs.
What is Hebel PowerShield?
Hebel PowerShield is a complete fire and acoustic wall system made of high-performing panels specifically engineered and designed to withstand heat of up to 1300oC. The Hebel PowerShield system can fire curve for an amazing 2 hours when exposed to the Hydrocarbon Modified (HCM). The PowerShield also has amazing acoustic absorption using a powerful combination of PowerShield panels as the primary structure and a second skin using 75mm Hebel PowerPanel.
Hebel PowerShield is readily available, easy to cut, and allows for fast installation. They are lightweight compared to precast concrete panels or traditional brick.
Who can use Hebel PowerShield?
Hebel PowerShield is a complete Fire and acoustics solution for the Power, Utilities, and Infrastructure industries.
Where can Hebel PowerShield be used?
Hebel PowerShield is ideal for the protection of structures from petrochemical fires, firewalls for tunnels, power stations, and substations.
What are the sizes of Hebel PowerShield panels?
Hebel PowerShield panels range from 150mm – 300mm
PowerShield PowerPanelXL range from 2400 x 600 x 75 SQ1M0 (lighter density)
PowerShield Panels with tongue & groove are made to order. They are designed and reinforced according to the wind loads and panel span. Panels are non-cuttable and made to length. The size of Hebel PowerShield is as followed:
- 150mm – up to 6000x600x150 – 10mm bevel
- 175mm – up to 6000x600x175 – 10mm bevel
- 200mm – up to 6000x600x200 – 10mm bevel
- 250mm – up to 6000x600x250 – 10mm bevel
- 300mm – up to 6000x600x300 – 10mm bevel
SQ = Square Edge; 1M = Single Mesh; 0 = No Bevel; T&G = Tongue & Groove.
What are the benefits of Hebel PowerShield?
The benefits of the Hebel PowerShield include high fire, and acoustics performances, non-inductive panel capability of walls in electromagnetic fields, reduced risk to critical assets and a quicker, more efficient construction process.
What is Hebel PowerProfile?
Hebel PowerProfile is a strong reinforced system that consists of Hebel’s PowerPanelXL 75mm thick, steel reinforced AAC panels that provide a solid wall with deep window reveals. The PowerProfile panels are vertically secured to the structural frame via horizontal perforated top hat sections. Hebel PoweProfile is suitable for timber and steel construction and maintains strong thermal properties and outstanding fire performance, similar to all Hebel products. Hebel PowerProfile is a simple, affordable option that replicates the look and new surface finish of traditional standing seam and metal cladding systems.
What is Hebel’s PowerPattern system?
Hebel’s PowerPattern system is a high-quality panel with steel reinforcement for added strength and maximum durability. It is non-combustible and retains the same amazing fire-rating compliance, high-quality, and versatility as all Hebel products. Hebel PowerPattern is custom-made to order and had a collection of patterns pre-routed onto the Hebel panels. It offers you a clean, modern pallet and can be combined with a range of paint, render, and spray-on coating systems such as metallic, sandstone, and polished concrete finishes to achieve the look you want. Hebel PowerPattern is also available in a range of textures, finishes, and colours. PowerPattern main four contemporary collections include:
- Lineal Collection
- Geometric Collection
- Prism Collection
- Organic Collection
How long does Hebel last?
Hebel lasts for many years. Hebel also comes with a 20 year product warranty from the date of purchase. Hebel panels also contain an anti-corrosion steel reinforcement, making them a strong, solid and reliable choice.
What finish can I expect on a Hebel project?
Hebel offers a modern, sleek, and clean fully rendered finish which works well in contemporary design. The combinations of colours, render finishes, and accessories (such as mouldings and bands) are endless – giving you the design flexibility to suit any desired style or finish.
Benefits of Hebel: What makes Hebel so special?
Hebel is a great building material and comes with a huge range of benefits that makes it stand out. The 10 Hebel benefits include (but are not limited to):
1. Solid and strong
Hebel’s Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (ACC) containing an anti-corrosion steel reinforcement is solid and strong delivering high performance, maximum strength, durability and resilience.
2. Thermal efficiency
Hebel panels achieve high energy efficiencies for homeowners. They use high thermal mass stores, which reduces energy usage over time. Hebel panels are excellent insulators, keeping homes cool in the height of the Australian summer and warm in the cool of winter. These great thermal efficiencies help you reduce utility bills by relying less on air conditioning or heating units, which in turn is also better for the environment. Some cool benefits and hot savings indeed!
Hebel is known for its excellent insulation properties, which can help to keep buildings cooler in summer and warmer in winter. In fact, some experts claim that Hebel can provide up to six times more insulation than brick. Here’s why:
Hebel has a 77mm thickness with a 0.52 R-value rating, compared to a 110mm brick with a 0.18 thickness and 0.18 R-value. That’s a 2.88 x more R rating than traditional brick which makes a home more energy efficient. Bricks just don’t stack up.
Want to learn more about how Hebel PowerPanels can help with energy efficiency, acoustic capability and construction efficiency? Read how Lightweight Helped Ichijo Create 7 Star Energy Saving Homes.
(based on 8.15%
Standard Aus Brick
3. Noise reduction & insulation.
Hebel is not only great for improving thermal efficiency but also offers excellent soundproofing and acoustic insulation properties. Its soundproofing capabilities are due to its construction and higher R-rating. Hebel is versatile and can be used in a range of applications, including dual occupancy developments and double-storey home builds. It is particularly useful for homes or businesses built near busy motorways, as it provides a practical solution to traffic noise.
The Hebel flooring system, Hebel Powerfloor offers a solid flooring solution minimising noise transference from neighbouring rooms and floors. It also adds a fire-resistant layer and can even be installed under timber, carpet or tiles. Hebel Powerfloor is a sound foundation for floor laying and a sound investment.
This brings us to another great benefit of Hebel; fire resistance. Hebel achieves a high BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) rating and has been tested by CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) to meet and exceed the six BAL categories. This ensures Hebel is an ideal building material for bushfire-prone zones with termite-resistant, non-combustible, and fire-resistant properties.
5. Environmentally friendly
Hebel is made from readily available recyclable raw materials and is economical compared to poured concrete or a traditional rendered finish making it an environmentally friendly product. Made in Australia, it is an environmentally smart choice to help combat Australia’s wild climate. Hebel goes one step further by recycling both the waste generated in the manufacturing process and even the steam it produces.
Hebel is a great option for both your pockets and the environment – and for good reason! With over 30 years of testing, developing, manufacturing and perfecting you are guaranteed high-quality Hebel building products and systems. It goes without saying their fire resistance, soundproofing, and thermal efficiency are a strong choice for fast and quality construction throughout Australia.
6. Fast Construction
Building great homes and great construction relationships, Hebel is lightweight, flexible and easy to cut. As one large Hebel panel is equivalent to 75 traditional bricks it’s perfect for fast construction without sacrificing quality. Hebel is a great building product to work with allowing easy handling and quick installation. Hebel doesn’t cut corners but makes it easier to cut holes and chases for electrical and plumbing lines, cutting the time and effort for faster construction.
7. Design flexibility/stylish design
Let’s face it, first impressions count. The street appeal of a home is not only significant for personal satisfaction but also for its potential resale value. The design of homes has progressed with time, and so has house rendering. Popular TV shows such as The Block or Love It or List It Australia shows the shift toward partially or fully rendered houses.
Want to see CSR Hebel in action on The Block 2021? Check out this video!
In today’s world, bricks may no longer be the preferred choice when it comes to selling, renting, or designing a home’s facade. The appearance and overall aesthetic of a house cannot be overstated when attempting to create impact, street presence, and visual interest.
Sure, you can paint or apply render to your bricks, but a Hebel façade has the advantage of a fully rendered, modern, fresh, and sleek finish from the get-go. Hebel cladding provides the flexibility to express personal style and is a perfect addition to a house design with a wide range of Dulux colours and show-stopping facade options.
Hebel is the height of style and functionality and is designed to complement other design features such as stunning porch tiles, weatherboard cladding, and other external design options. It is a perfect addition to many home designs including contemporary or French provincial elegance, it has a place in any stylish design, adding stunning visual impact and street appeal.
What’s more, if you choose not to render your brick post-construction, it is easier to repaint Hebel than change the brick colour which can help save you the cost of labour and added materials in the long run.
This brings us to affordability. Hebel is a cost-effective choice for anyone looking to reduce build costs, utility bills and maintenance costs. The old “one standard panel being equivalent to 75 traditional bricks” statement rears its head again, why? Because this makes building and installation quicker. A quicker, easier build equals fewer labour costs.
What’s more, Hebel has the added benefit of being a long-lasting, low-maintenance option.
How is Hebel low maintenance?
As Hebel is long-lasting, an annual low-pressure water blast is all it takes (6 months in coastal areas) to remove dirt and get it looking clean and fresh. Although we do recommend you repaint it every 7 to 10 years, especially with light-coloured Hebel renders.
No weep holes
You will also notice that compared to brick Hebel has no weep holes, where pests such as cockroaches, mice, or wasps can get through.
There have been many debates on if Hebel is higher or lower maintenance than brick and both have their advantages and disadvantage. For example, Hebel can look dirty after a few years and need painting.
Summing it up
How good is Hebel?
Hebel offers several benefits as a construction material:
Lightweight: Hebel is significantly lighter than traditional brick or concrete, making it easier and more efficient to handle, transport, and install.
Energy-efficient: Hebel panels have excellent thermal insulation properties, which help to regulate indoor temperature and reduce energy consumption for heating and cooling.
Fire-resistant: Hebel has excellent fire-resistant properties, providing enhanced safety and protection against fire hazards. It does not contribute fuel to a fire and can help to contain the spread of flames.
Soundproofing: Hebel panels offer excellent sound insulation, reducing noise transmission from the outside environment and enhancing acoustic comfort inside the building.
Durability: Hebel is a durable and long-lasting material, capable of withstanding various weather conditions, including extreme heat, cold, and moisture. It is resistant to rot, decay, and pests, minimizing the need for frequent repairs or maintenance.
Design versatility: Hebel can be easily shaped and cut to accommodate various architectural designs and construction requirements. It allows for flexibility and creativity in designing aesthetically pleasing structures.
Sustainable: Hebel is an environmentally friendly building material. It is made from abundant natural resources, such as sand, cement, lime, and gypsum. The manufacturing process emits less carbon dioxide compared to traditional building materials, contributing to reduced environmental impact.
Speed of construction: Hebel panels can be installed quickly, reducing construction time and associated costs. This makes Hebel an attractive option for both residential and commercial projects.
Overall, Hebel offers a range of advantages, including its lightweight nature, energy efficiency, fire resistance, soundproofing capabilities, durability, design versatility, sustainability, and fast installation, making it a preferred choice for many construction applications.
Should I use bricks or Hebel?
Hebel panels incorporate durable steel reinforcement that guards against corrosion, ensuring their strength, solidity, and dependability. Extensive testing has demonstrated that Hebel panels and traditional brick have similar impact resistance. What building material you choose is entirely based on personal choice.
Still, have questions? Contact us today.
As independent specialists, we work with a range of leading suppliers of construction materials. We have a thorough understanding of the characteristics and performance capability of each product and can advise on the best choice or mix of products to deliver the outcome you’re seeking.
At Empower Construction, we consider the ultimate building material that will deliver the best result for your project and design. We are committed to building strong, cost-efficient and beautiful homes throughout Australia.