Sometimes you have the opportunity to directly or indirectly influence a customer’s decision about whether to build in brick or another material. So you want to be ready with a checklist of reasons why brick is the superior choice.
Elizabeth McIntyre CEO of Think Brick Australia says for the buyer in a position to choose, “One of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make is which building material to use: brick, roof tiles, concrete and so on. It is a decision that impacts the design aesthetics, ongoing maintenance and the overall look of the building.”
Elizabeth puts the reasons to choose brick into five categories, summarised here:
- There are literally hundreds of colours, finishes and sizes to pick from, allowing for the creation of unique and inspiring designs, both externally and internally.
- Brick’s use from a design perspective has evolved into 3D sculptural effects, intricate detailing and different shapes and is advancing way beyond the traditional concept of the brick box structure.
Energy Efficiency and Thermal Comfort
- Building with brick gives greater thermal mass than alternative lightweight building materials. Building materials with high thermal mass have the highest energy efficiency. (Thermal mass is the ability of a material to retain heat energy when subjected to varying temperatures and then slowly release it back into the environment as conditions change.)
- In homes where the inside walls are made of brick and the exterior walls of other materials (such as fibre cements, timber, or render), otherwise known as reverse brick veneer (RVB), there is a greater level of thermal mass than in buildings made solely with insulated lightweight materials. This results in a more stable and comfortable inside temperature.
Durability and Reduced Maintenance
- Brick is tough and permanent. Once it’s built it remains weatherproof and age proof. Brick doesn’t wear and requires little or no upkeep or repairs.
- Even after 50 years brick is strong, reliable and relatively maintenance free.
- Bricks are available to withstand particular environmental issues such as higher salt levels or ‘tough soil’ conditions.
- Brick provides superior sound insulation from external noise. The heavy mass of clay brick masonry is best for acoustic insulation and is able to block low frequency noise.
- Double brick walls have the added benefit of isolating impact sounds from other rooms.
- Brick has an inherent resistance to airborne sound and is able to block out machinery, amplified music and sounds of traffic as well as aircraft carriers.
Ideal for Bushfire Prone Areas
- Brick is fundamentally fireproof, non-combustible and thus will not aid the spread of a fire as it is kiln-fired at temperatures of up to 1,200 degrees Celsius. It is able to withstand the intense heat of a fire without changing structurally.
- In the worst fire situation, the brick skeleton of your home will remain standing and these same bricks can then be used to rebuild. This is a true testament to the strength of this material.
The full text of Elizabeth McIntyre’s article is available here at Masonry Contractors Australia.