Concrete blocks and pyrite: update

Pyrite In Concrete Blocks at Moneymore, Drogheda, Co. Louth

The Irish Independent reports that demolition has started for six houses in Moneymore, following discovery of pyrite damage to the concrete blocks. 19 other homes in the scheme have been tested for pyrite but a decision on their fate has not yet been announced.

Seaview Park, Shankill, Dublin

RTE reports that four houses are undergoing demolition in Shankill due to pyrite in the blockwork.

pyrite remediation scheme

Meanwhile, the Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan, has been asked to extend the Pyrite Remediation Scheme to cover pyrite damage to building blocks.… Read the rest

Canadian pyrrhotite problem: verdict delivered

The Canadian pyrrhotite problem

In the early 2000s around 30 homes suffered pyrrhotite problems in the Trois Rivieres area of Quebec, relating to aggregates from a small quarry that only operated for a short time (Maher, 2013). New problems came to light in the late 2000s, with around 1700 residential buildings now suspected of having pyrrhotite problems.  A major legal case relating to the more recent events has concluded and the judge has delivered the verdict.

Canadian pyrrhotite problem historical summary

A summary of the events related to pyrrhotite in Canada can be found here.… Read the rest

Demolition of pyrite houses set to start

Demolition set to start today

The Irish Examiner and the Independent report that six new homes in the Moneymore area of Drogheda, Co Louth are scheduled for demolition as a result of pyrite. The online news stories state testing is ongoing for 19 other houses in the estate. The problem at this site is supposedly the presence of pyrite in building blocks and the news comes just weeks after the ACEI and RIAI published a warning on pyrite in concrete blocks in the Leinster area.

In an interview with Tony Gilmore (North and East Housing Association) on RTE News, Tony states:

“…[we were] able to establish the presence of pyrite during the construction phase… …cracks were developing in the houses as they were being built.”

“Tests were called for and out of these tests we discovered there was contamination of three blocks.”

Tony explains that the results of tests on the other houses have not yet come back.… Read the rest

Concrete blockwork & pyrite: investigations

pyrite in concrete blockwork

Following guidance from the The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and Association of Consulting Engineers of Ireland (ACEI) (see previous post), RTE news reports that local authorities are starting investigations into concrete blockwork with possible pyrite problems at a number of sites, including areas in Leinster.

RTE news, describing a statement issued by the Department of the Environment, suggests that the “allegedly defective blocks” supplier had been co-operating with the investigation. The block manufacturers have not been named.

The news comes as the Irish Independent reports that six homes in a new Drogheda housing estate are to be demolished as a result of pyrite found in concrete building blocks.… Read the rest

Pyrite in masonry blocks: ACEI publish advice

pyrite in masonry blocks – ACEI Guidance note

The Association of Consulting Engineers Ireland (ACEI) have published, on 15th May 2014, an interim advice note on the presence of pyrite in masonry blocks stating:

“It has come to the attention of the ACE that there have been recent instances of apparent pyrite content in concrete blocks provided by block manufacturers.

In cases reported the affected blocks were noted to have a brown discoloration. The physical strength characteristics diminished over short period of time, particularly when exposed to moisture.

The ACEI are concerned about these occurrences and recommend all member firms request assurance from suppliers that materials are free of deleterious materials and that a representative sample of blocks be tested for pyrite content by chemical analysis.”

RIAI Guidance issued

An email sent to members of the The Royal Institute of The Architects of Ireland (RIAI) on the 29th May 2014 was posted on the Pyrite Action Facebook group and adds more detail to the pyrite problem

“A number of RIAI Practices have brought to the attention of the RIAI problems encountered on projects in the Leinster region with conrete blocks that contain pyrite.

Read the rest