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The Who, What, When & Why of Besser Blocks

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The History of the Besser Block

No doubt, you would have heard of ‘besser blocks’ a time or two and wondered why they got that name. So what is the history behind these blocks and what makes a block a ‘besser block’?


Besser blocks – also known as concrete blocks, grey blocks or concrete masonry units (CMU) – are rectangular concrete blocks used in the construction of commercial & residential buildings, retaining walls, fences, and many other structures. But why are they called ‘besser’ blocks?


The name ‘besser block’ dates back to 1904 when one of the first concrete block machines was produced in the US by what was soon to become Besser Manufacturing Company. Over the years, as the Besser company gained prominence in Australia, ‘besser blocks’ soon became the accepted household name for concrete blocks. Even after many companies began manufacturing their own concrete blocks in Australia, the name ‘besser’ stuck.


A standard ‘besser block’ is a rectangular prism measuring 390mm x 190mm x 190mm, with two large core holes allowing for reinforcing steel and concrete corefill. Today, Apex Masonry manufacture a range of lightweight besser-style blocks referred to as Grey Blocks.


After more than a century, Grey Blocks remain a popular construction method for their acoustic & insulation properties, affordability and efficiency of installation.


If you’re searching for ‘besser blocks’, Apex Masonry Grey Blocks are just like the good old ‘besser block’ – only better!

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