In the context of South Africa’s built environment and its different climatic conditions, the many advantages of clay bricks in construction combine to underpin their well-recognised lifetime investment value, predicating clay brick construction as the ‘smart’ way to build.
So Says Musa Shangase, Corobrik’s Commercial Director, South African’s leading brick manufacturer established in 1902, who goes on to outline these benefits.
- enduring structural integrity in delivering durable, safe and secure built environments
- competence for dealing with extreme weather events
- material density that provides a natural sound barrier facilitating quiet indoor environments
- mineral properties that ensure no release of VOCs at levels to impinge on indoor air quality
- mineral properties with a natural propensity to absorb and release moisture from the air to help keep humidity within a 40 to 60 percent level for healthy living
- high thermal capacity that naturally moderates indoor temperatures to advance thermal comfort conditions through day and night.
Corobrik says that building off this basket of key fundamentals can be added:
- the enormous flexibility of clay brick in design to express varied design styles
- the endearing human scale of bricks provide
- the maintenance free attributes of face bricks
- the organic look and feel of un-rendered brickwork
- the scope face brick offers to introduce craft to the architecture and advance the design aesthetic.
“These attributes move clay brick construction from ‘smart’ to ‘smarter’”, says Shangase.
“Taking this substantive basket of performance benefits to a whole new level is clay brick wall construction’s propensity, within the scope of SANS 10400 Building Regulations and SANS 204 Energy Efficiency in Buildings Standards, to optimise thermal comfort outperforming SANS 204 compliant insulated lightweight walling applied to alternate building technologies such as Light Steel Frame Building (LSF) as specified in SANS 517.
Shangase concluded that optimal thermal performance - superior thermal comfort and lowest heating and cooling energy usage - in South African climates was well provided by clay brick wall constructions.