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How a Brick is Sustainable & What are the New alternatives available — Econaur

BRICK, A SUSTAINABLE PRODUCT

Brick is a natural, quality, user and maintenance-friendly product, that is durable during all phases of its life cycle. In the construction phase from the use of raw materials, production process to packaging. During the operational phase through comfort, maintenance, flexibility, and safety. During demolition through reuse and recycling of bricks.

A recent question posed by our user — is a brick building more sustainable? While this may seem a simple enough question, the answers are really not as straightforward. It is true, the first thing that occurs in the minds of most people is that brick is natural and therefore must be more earth-friendly.

The foremost criteria for evaluating the sustainability of a wall or building envelope material is thermal insulation. This is measured by the unit R-value — which is a measure of how well a two-dimensional barrier, such as a layer of insulation, a window, or a complete wall or ceiling, resists the conductive flow of heat. According to Inspectapedia, basic brick walls have an insulation value, or R-value, of 0.2 per square inch. Conventional 8-inch concrete block walls have an R-value of 0.08 per square inch. In general, the greater the R-value, the greater the resistance, and so better is the thermal insulating properties of the barrier. Therefore, this far, the brick is faring as a better performer.

BRICK, A SUSTAINABLE PRODUCT

Brick is a natural, quality, user and maintenance-friendly product, that is durable during all phases of its life cycle. In the construction phase from the use of raw materials, production process to packaging. During the operational phase through comfort, maintenance, flexibility, and safety. During demolition through reuse and recycling of bricks.

However, adding a layer of insulation or an air gap greatly changes the performance of brick and concrete. It is common in today’s marketplace to have aerated concrete blocks or insulated concrete blocks that are readily available. Insulated concrete blocks can increase their R-value to about 1.2 per square inch, and aerated blocks can have R-values as high as 3.9.

Bricks, on the other hand, suffer since very few values adds are made to them to have new products which are easily sourced in our material markets. It boils down to know-how and masonry techniques. Using techniques such as the architects favorite ‘rat-trap bond’ can improve thermal insulation. So, what are these ‘bonds’ and what specifically is a rat trap bond?

Maintenance-free

Bricks require no maintenance. After a while, external brickwork even obtains a certain luster. It adds charm to a residence. Because no maintenance is required, the impact of the building on the environment is much smaller.

Mechanical resistance

Bricks are very stable. Temperature changes do not cause them to expand or shrink. Because of this mechanical resistance, bricks are well suited for buildings of ten or more stories.

Fire resistance

Brick is a non-flammable and non-combustible material. It reduces the chances of fire. When exposed to fire no toxic gases are emitted. Often, after a fire, a brick facade is structurally still sound and can be incorporated into the renovated building.

Adaptable and flexible

Brick buildings are very flexible. During the construction process and the building’s lifetime, the layout of the building can be customized.

RECYCLING AND REUSE


The decision to demolish a building is usually not because of the state of the external bricks, even if it is a hundred years old. Often the old structure no longer meets the current requirements and the decision is made to reconstruct the building. After demolition, bricks can be recovered and recycled or reused.

Reuse:

After removing the remains of mortar, bricks remain reusable for restoration or for new homes and projects. Recovered bricks give a building an exceptional appearance and character.

Recycling:

Because of their mineral structure, bricks from demolition sites can be used after recycling as:
* Filling and stabilizing material for infrastructure works.
* Aggregates for poured and precast concrete and mortar.
* Aggregates for calcium silicate bricks.
* Red “crushed brick” as gravel on tennis courts.
* Plant substrates.
Because bricks only consist of natural raw materials, they have no harmful side effects when they come into contact with ground or surface water.

A Solutions Made by Perlcon.

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