Why we Use Bricks, Applications in Residential and Commercial Buildings

One of the main reasons bricks are used is because they are made from natural materials. In order to make bricks shale and clay are combined together and then fired through a kiln at a whopping two thousand degrees. What happens after that is that the two materials will vitrify and therefore fuse together in order to form a solid and durable material.

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The truth is that a lot of people confuse regular bricks with clay bricks. Making concrete units involves using a cement paste for bonding the material together, but concrete units feature a grayish color which means that color pigments need to be used in order for them to be colored in the user’s desired color. When it comes to clay bricks though, the number of colors you can consider for them are endless and will definitely withstand the test of time.

It stood the test of time

Bricks aren’t manufactured the way they were made hundreds of years ago. They are highly regulated and manufacturers need to respect stringent standards to ensure a durable and overall quality product.

Brick offers better protection compared to other wall cladding materials – you can ask any masonry contractor and I guarantee they will confirm that statement.

If you want to make sure that the building you plan on erecting soon is going to be very rugged and durable, then you certainly need to consider using clay bricks. They are much better than regular bricks and provide shelter in 3 categories.

1. Fire Protection

The main ingredient in bricks is clay which everyone knows that is not combustible and that is why this is a very good choice for those who want to ensure the structures they build using bricks are going to withstand high temperatures.

2. High wind protection

Anyone who lives in an area that is prone to hurricanes should know that bricks are the best construction material they can consider if they want to protect their home from wind-blown debris. Compared to homes made using fiber cement siding or vinyl siding, homes made of bricks are a lot more rugged. In a test that involved shooting an object of seven point five by two point four feet in a vinyl and fiber cement siding home, the result was a complete penetration of the building. However, in order for the same object to penetrate a brick home, it would have to travel at a speed of eighty miles per hour.

3. Great moisture control

According to information from authority websites on the internet, a brick veneer wall assembly is going to provide better moisture protection compared to wall systems made using other types of materials. Therefore, if you want to minimize the chances of infestation by insects, wood rot and mold grown, then you certainly need to think twice before you choose a material for building your home.

Less maintenance and superior aesthetics

One of the most important benefits of bricks is that they offer a lot more value compared to other construction materials. For example, they don’t have to be painted, they don’t dent or rot and they’re also never going to be eaten by termites or get torn. You may also be surprised to hear this, but bricks are one of the few materials out there which, as they age, are going to look much better.

If you live in a noisy neighborhood or plan on moving in one where you’d like to build yourself a house, then make sure you build it using bricks. That’s because bricks are great noise absorbers, so compared to other construction materials they are excellent sound proofers.

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High energy efficiency

Bricks have one quality that few other construction materials out there have and that is their ability of storing heat and then releasing it slowly. What this means it that during the colder months of the year the temperature inside your house is going to be high, while in the summer months your home is going to be cooler.

Green and sustainable building material

Bricks are one of the most highly used construction materials out there and for good reason. They help save a lot of energy and on top of that, they’re also green materials.

Made Using Natural Ingredients

Since they generally made form shale and clay which are highly abundant, bricks are environmentally friendly. Find more at this post – How are bricks made

Easy To Recycle

It’s easy to recycle bricks by crushing, chipping or reshaping them in order to adapt them to various projects.

Minimal Waste

All the mined clay is going to be used in order to make bricks which means that about eighty percent of manufacturers are going to make use of their fired waste material in order to make bricks or simply consider using it to make other products.

Can be certified as a green material by third party sources

The National Brick Research Center has found a way to easily check the amount of recycled content that bricks contain, the exact amount of resources used to make the brick and how much renewable energy was used in the firing process. Since this is possible, builders can easily get a certificate which confirms how green their building materials are, a quality which many customers are certainly going to appreciate.

Green manufacturing process

Over eighty percent of brick kilns use natural gas for firing purposes and many plants are also using fuels of bio based materials from waste products and other industrial applications. To number a few energy sources, they include sawdust from furniture manufacturers, but also methane gas from landfills.

Low embodied energy to manufacture brick

Given the fact that clay bricks can last for a very long time, you’ll never have to worry about buying replacement bricks for decades or even hundreds of years. The NIST assess the lifespan of brick masonry to be about one century long, but if you look around you, you’re certainly going to see buildings that are much older than that and are still standing.

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And if they meet the American Society for Testing and Materials, bricks can easily be reused in building applications. In fact, the salvaged bricks market is huge and many people are purchasing such bricks because not only are they much cheaper, but they’re still usable and sturdy.

Article by Echevarria Mendez

I've been working with concrete all my life. It's a material to admire for its strength and beauty.