Modern Methods of Construction

Granite Products create a mixture of aggregates and concrete blocks from the granite that gets quarried. Aside from importing these materials from other countries where economies of scale likely mean cheaper prices, we could also explore using alternative products in the construction of new buildings.

The cost of on-site labour now represents around two thirds of what it costs to build a family home in Jersey. Modern methods of construction allow houses to be built much more quickly. Extending quarries actively discourages the introduction of cheaper construction methods and the building of much needed affordable housing.


The Inspectors’ report largely ignored addressing modern methods of construction and opted to retain the status quo rather than suggest we research alternatives. It’s government policy which can help push us in the right direction, and rather than maintain the status quo we expect our politicians to tackle researching alternatives like many other proactive countries do.


A recent example shows Wales tackling their housing crisis head-on by opting to use modular housing. If Jersey were to follow suit the requirement for concrete blocks (which Granite Products manufacture at La Gigoulande quarry) would inevitably lessen.

Local architects and strategic thinkers have called for exactly the same approach in other parts of the Draft Bridging Island Plan which relate to building affordable homes to address the housing shortage.

All about concrete

The rest of this page is republished from the original found on our Facebook page here and discusses why concrete alternatives should be encouraged:

Q. What is officially the Worlds’ single most destructive material?
A. Concrete!
Q. What is the biggest threat facing us?
A. Climate Change
(Climate Change Emergency declared by SoJ in May 2019)
Q. What can we do about it?
A. Preserve the countryside – Don’t destroy it and don’t permit *unnecessary* expansion of the concrete industry.
Q. Unnecessary? Why?
A. Because there are eco alternatives to concrete blocks, such as:
– Woodcrete (in use for 70+ years)
– Hempcrete (in use for 50+ years)
– Aircrete/AAC (in use for 100 years)
and many more.
Q. Why aren’t these eco products used here now?
A. They are, but not widely.
Here’s what I think is the main problem – Architects and Structural Engineers don’t often specify them. They might feel that builders of their designs would be unfamiliar with them (or that their clients might have reservations), and as builders can’t substitute the specified materials for more environmentally sustainable ones, the building industry just carries on using the same dense concrete block and reinforced concrete construction methods they’ve always used; it’s a vicious circle.
Q. What about the company in question?
A. It’s a UK owned subsidiary of Brett Group with 35 employees.
Q. If it closed, might the lack of competition increase concrete prices?
A. Possibly, yes, but that could be a good deterrent to encourage the use of less damaging products.
Q. What could its future be if it didn’t close?
A. It could adapt to manufacturing eco blocks, in particular Hempcrete or Woodcrete perhaps.
Q. The way forward?
  1. Do not allow the destruction of Field MY966 in our ever diminishing Green Zone;
  2. Do not allow further expansion of damaging concrete manufacturing;
  3. Reduce local demand for dense concrete products;
  4. Encourage the use of alternative eco building materials;
  5. Help businesses to manufacture them locally.
Let’s move towards a sustainable future and make something positive out of the Climate Change Crisis!