Defective Properties 
Specialists in the repair and renovation of Airey houses 
The Airey House 
 
 
 
 
 
Sir Edward Airey was a Leeds builder who had used concrete for a house design in the 1930s - the Airey Duo Slab. At the end of the Second World War he developed a new design of concrete house based on reinforced concrete columns. Airey used steel tubes to reinforce the columns in his house design and he allowed the tube to extend to the end of the columns so that ground and first floor columns could be dowled together and the roof could be dowled into the first floor. Columns were positioned at 457mm (18in) centres around the perimeter of the house and clad with a reinforced concrete panels 914mm (3ft) long and 279mm (11in) high with a wedge shaped cross section. These were arranged in ship-lap fashion and attached to the columns by a pair of copper wires which were looped over hooks cast into the backs of the panels. The wires passed from the hook at the end of one panel, round the back of a column to a hook at the end of the adjoining panel and were tightened by twisting them together.
 
Airey houses were lined in a variety of materials. Plasterboard was the most common nut concrete blockwork, woodwool, brick on edge and fibreboard was also used, the latter being a fire hazard. Concrete columns were stood on a damp proof course but the lower end of the reinforcing tube in the columns was prone to corrosion. This was due to rain being frequently driven through the cladding and condensation in the wall cavity collecting on the DPC. In addition the columns are so slender that there is little concrete cover to the steel and corrosion is likely at any point throughout the height. Airey houses are most prone to deterioration of any PRC design.
 
The Airey system was used to build many layouts of house. The most common are two designs of semi-detached two storey three bedroom houses known as North Aspect and South Aspect (Rural) Airey house.
 
The rural design has plain gables clad in a variety of materials and the urban design has a hipped roof.
 
 
 
Tel:   01384 258498