Being made from clay and shale
brick is most abundant and natural material on earth.
Bricks have been used for building innumerable structures over many thousands of years because of their durability. The reason why the brick turns into such a durable material is that, when fired through a kiln at up to 2000 degress, clay unit goes through a vitrification process which fuses the clay particles together. Unlike other materials, brick is very user and maintenance friendly creating energy efficient buildings, but also performing various functions.
The advantages of bricks are countless...
• resistant against high pressure and frost;
• is a non-combustible material;
• does not shrink and expand during fluctuation of temperature;
• can absorb heat very well;
• is reusable and recyclable;
• is available in many colours and textures.
No wonder that for centuries architects and customers have a heart for bricks. Bricks do not only resist the ravages of time but also are continuously being reinvented.
10 reasons why bricks
1. The use of natural base materials
Bricks are the result of a combination of purely natural elements: clay, sand, water, air, and fire. No toxic substances are added to bricks. In addition, bricks are inert material: it does not or hardly react to other substances and also does not release toxic substances or allergens. Therefore, there is absolutely no risk of soil pollution.
2. Economical base material policy
Clay and loam are natural and seemingly inexhaustible base materials. Excavation is limited and excavated sites reconstructed for agriculture or recreation. Starting materials are used that are released during infrastructure work and building projects in order to keep down the exploitation rate of the pits.
3. Clay extraction creates new possibilities
The excavation of clay is temporary by nature. The exploitation covers a limited surface that never grows in time, but merely moves. After extraction the site is reconstructed. This often leads to added value for the biodiversity, among other things, as a result of constructing nature reserves.
4. Environmentally friendly manufacturing processes.
The production process of bricks is continuously being optimised to respect the environment . For decades, manufacturers have been taking numerous measures to decrease energy consumption:
• High-performance tunnel ovens that work on natural gas
• Strict observance of the baking process by means of computer programs
• Recycling heat from the oven in the drying rooms
• Own production of electricity by means of total energy plants
In every step of the production process people continuously search for a level of energy consumption that is as low as possible. The reason that the production of bricks has such a low and specific energy consumption is due to the fact that only the preparation, drying, and backing of the clay needs to be calculated. There is absolutely no environmental impact as a result of water contamination or residual waste.
5. Short transport distances
Brick kilns are often located near the quarry. This way the clay does not need to be transported across long distances. Some brick kilns sometimes add clay from other quarries in order to expand their product assortment. But even then, transport remains rather limited.
6. Long lifespan without maintenance
Bricks are made to last for generations. The average lifespan of a building made from bricks is estimated at more than 100 years. The impact of the building on the environment is also much smaller because it does not need maintenance.
7. Durable and precious
Their lifespan and limited environmental impact make bricks unbeatable if you want to build a durable building. Bricks make it possible to create beautiful buildings with limited spending and a long lifespan. Brick offers lasting value. It does not rot, dent, or need to be painted. Unlike other materials, bricks actually look better with age.
8. Comfortable and sturdy
The superior thermal mass qualities of brick have been known for centuries. Bricks keep out the weather and the wind due to their good heat absorption. What’s the secret? In winter, bricks store the heat on sunny days and then slowly release it. During the summer they buffer the heat and the brick building stays cool on the hottest days. In addition, bricks are non-flammable and solid as well as absorb noise which is an acoustic advantage over other materials.
9. Good recycling possibilities
Brick walls can be dismantled. Bricks are reusable after removing mortal residues, for example, for restoration or for the construction of new houses and projects. Also brick rubble from demolition sites can be recycled and reused. For example as:
• Filling and stabilising material for infrastructure work
• Ingredients for poured concrete and prefabricated mortar on site
• Ingredients for bricks from calcium silicate
• Red ‘grounded bricks’ (clay) on tennis courts
• Plant substrates
10. Flexibility of brick buildings
Buildings made from bricks are extremely flexible.
They can be adjusted during the entire building process and during the entire lifespan of the building. Hardly ever does a building need to be taken down because the bricks cause a problem.