Building in brick is one of the best environmental choices you can make when you are selecting the materials palette for your new build or renovation project. One of the oldest building materials known to man, bricks have been preferred for thousands of years with many of those brick structures surviving to this day. Bricks are not only long-lasting and low maintenance products but also add to the aesthetics of buildings. Most importantly, bricks make for a sustainable choice because they are produced from natural materials, function as excellent insulators, are reusable and recyclable, look good without relying on chemicals, and leave minimal waste.
Know more about the eco-credentials of brick.
1 Made from natural materials
Made from clay and shale, two of the most abundant natural materials on earth, bricks are fired through a kiln at up to 2000°C. The durability of a brick comes from the vitrification process that the raw materials go through in the kiln, which fuses the particles and adds strength to the final product. Being abundantly available, clay and shale can usually be sourced locally, minimising the distance factor between raw materials and production.
2 Excellent insulation properties
Various studies have proven that brick homes are naturally energy-efficient. The exceptional thermal mass properties of bricks ensure that they trap heat on cold days, and keep houses cool during the warmer months. A universal building material, brick is suitable for both extremely hot climates as well as freezing temperatures. Even better are cavity brick walls that create an insulating layer of air between layers of bricks, keeping the building’s interiors protected from external temperatures.
3 Reusable and recyclable
Bricks are naturally strong and durable, and can be used repeatedly. Leftover bricks in construction are usually used for garden edging, exterior entertaining spaces, and even pathways. Bricks from demolition sites are often resold to builders, who use them on renovations to match existing brick materials or to create an authentic, rustic appearance. Bricks can even be crushed up for driveways, or recycled into new products.
4 Naturally good looking
Bricks are largely maintenance-free, and don’t need to be painted, waterproofed or treated with chemicals to make them weatherproof. Maintenance is limited to an occasional water wash or a brush-down. Being pest-resistant, bricks don’t need chemical treatments for protection. An occasional re-mortaring is all that may be needed to make a bricked surface look good.
5 Minimal waste
Bricks generate minimal waste right from production to demolition. At PGH Bricks & Pavers, virtually all of the mined clay is used in the manufacturing of sandstock or dry pressed bricks. Being stable and inert, bricks can be safely handled by tradespeople and homeowners without requiring special equipment. Even if bricks do end up in landfill, they won’t leach chemicals or hurt the soil.