Our challenge as brick manufacturers in pursuit of a significant share of the Low Cost Housing market has been to provide clay brick products in formats that were more cost effective and afforded greater speed in construction while ensuring that the requirements of house occupants for security, comfort and low lifecycle costs were catered for.
Brickmakers across South Africa have come up with a variety of masonry products to meet the challenge, importantly also addressing the impact that the different regional climate conditions pose. Almost a billion of clay brick products have already been used successfully in low cost housing throughout South Africa – these are houses that meet the needs for occupants to live in safety, security and with dignity.
Our industry is committed to partnering with Government to help meet their pledge for 1.5 million houses by 2019. The Clay Brick Industry has both the capacity and the right products to deliver the best the most cost effective long term solution to human settlements construction
Solutions for Coastal Regions
Notably, for the high rainfall coastal regions, manufacturers have developed brick formats that are narrower and higher than the imperial brick to facilitate double skin cavity walled type construction with all the benefits associated with conventional imperial brick walling.
The Maxi 90 and Super Maxi 90 are examples that have been successfully applied in housing along the coastal belt of South Africa. Fewer bricks per m² afford savings in mortar and accelerate the speed of construction consequent to fewer bricks per m² laid.
Solutions for Inland Regions
In the Inland regions markets demand has been more towards through-the-wall clay brick masonry and where face finishes are found to resonate with a larger portion of the population. The industry has developed both face and semi face through-the-wall clay bricks that go by names such as CoroJem, Quantum and the Coro Maxi 140. These have been successfully applied to provide “proper” housing as sought within the Government subsidy in all the Inland provinces.
So whether it’s the alternative 90mm wide clay brick masonry as applied in double skin construction and/or the 140mm through-the-wall product, compliance with SABS 10400 XA building regulations is well achieved with the residents at this entry level enjoying the unique benefits of clay brick in construction.
Substantial Savings & Benefits
The saving offered by the larger brick units are:
- Lower brick cost per m²
- Less mortar and fewer joints per m²
- Less mass per m² reduces transport costs and makes laying easier
- Walls are built significantly faster than standard double brick walling
- Clay brick masonry comes with the requisite compressive strength to assure construction of superior quality in compliance the requisite building standards for masonry construction
The lifetime benefits however of these alternate brick products include:
- Structural integrity: Clay brick construction has proven structural integrity for 100 years and beyond
- Longevity: Longevity provide opportunity for the bricks to dissipate their embodied energy over the lifecycle
- Non-combustible and fire proof: Clay bricks do not normally suffer structural damage during fire and therefore continue load bearing function
- Ceramic properties: Can withstand saturation from flood water without being adversely affected structurally
- Healthy environment: Mineral properties that meet all necessary requirements for healthy living
- Physical properties: Have natural propensity to absorb moisture from the air when the relative humidity is high and return it when indoor air becomes dryer this helping regulate indoor humidity to 40 - 60% level recognised as necessary for healthy living.
- Inorganic: Releases no toxic fumes or gasses under either normal or fire conditions.
- Sound insulation: High mass/density of clay brick naturally offers higher acoustic protection – quieter indoor environments
- Durability: Low maintenance qualities mitigate future carbon debt associated with refurbishment of less durable walling materials and systems.
- Colour fast: Enduring hues and textures that eliminate carbon debt associated with painting.