Due to the durability of brickwork construction, life cycle cost analysis demonstrates the long-term benefits of building with brick. Clay face bricks require little or no maintenance ensuring lowest life cycle costs, saving both time and money year after year.
Easy to replace
Although clay brick bricks and pavers are very durable, they can become stained, and mortar can crumble after long exposure to the elements. Simply drill out or remove the mortar, remove the brick and replace it.
Easy to clean
Most brickwork stains can be cleaned with a stiff fibre brush and running water, but in special circumstances chemical cleaners are inexpensive, easily available and well documented.
Clay Bricks are thermal batteries, using energy from the sun to provide thermal efficiency in a hot South African climate. Bricks can “self-regulate” keeping internal space naturally cool in summer and warm in winter.
High thermal capacity with resistance
Thermal capacity is a measure of the degree of heat that can be stored by a wall. High thermal capacity (C) with resistance (R) results in a high CR value that achieves optimal energy efficiency and lowest heating and cooling energy usage. Inherent thermal capacity significantly reduces the need for more expensive insulation materials between the brick leaves.
Energy Cost Savings
The more thermally efficient the building, the greater the energy savings. Brick is designed to absorb the warmth of the sun all day, and release the heat inside during freezing winter nights. Clay brick’s thermal efficiency reduces the need for heating and air-conditioning, with lifetime savings for property owners.
Low thermal movement
All building materials also undergo daily thermal expansion and contraction and these daily temperature swings can result in stress cracks over time. The thermal expansion and contraction of clay brick is minimal throughout the year. Depending on the clay mixture and firing process, the coefficient of linear thermal movement is between 4-8. Movement per 10m of wall for a 50 degree temperature change is between 2-4mm.
Low moisture movement during operational life
Most building materials suffer structural stress due to changes in air moisture from alternating sun and rain. Clay bricks rarely exhibit movements due to moisture in excess of 1mm per 10 metres of walling. The bulk of a clay brick’s expansion takes place in the first six months after manufacture which is typically accommodated during construction with vertical movement joints.
Reusable and Recyclable
Clay bricks can be salvaged and reused when the existing structure has outlived it usefulness. Bricks can be crushed and recycled as aggregate for road construction, sub-base or non-toxic landfill and site levelling.