The Clay Brick Advantage
Advantage 1 : Cooler in hot climates
Advantage 2 : A haven of quiet
Advantage 3 : Solid, safe and secure
Advantage 4 : Low maintenance
Advantage 5 : Termite resistant
Advantage 6 : Timeless
Advantage 7 : A Unique investment
Cooler in hot climates
Cool relief. That's the feeling you get entering a clay brick house on a hot day.
Why is it so? Dense materials such as bricks have what engineers call 'thermal mass'. Put simply, heavyweight building materials can absord and store heat energy releasing it slowly.
This is a very different quality to insulation (measured by the 'R-value') which is a barrier to heat. Unlike insulating materials that have little or no capacity to store heat energy, the mass of brickwork helps stabilise internal temperatures by delaying the passage of heat through the wall.
This delay is called the 'lag time'. The higher the level of thermal mass, the longer the lag time. A clay brick wall will have a lag time of up to eight hours.
In other words, by the time heat striking the wall penetrates inside, the peak of the day has passed hours earlier, allowing you to ventilate and cool the house naturally.
Tests have shown that a cavity brick wall is more effective than a lightweight wall (with the same R-value) at smoothing temperatures, even on the hottest day.
What does this mean for you? Air-conditioner use will be reduced (or even eliminated). You energy bills will drop and the environment will say thank-you. Your clay brick home will feel naturally cool and inviting. What a relief!
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A haven of quiet
It's true. The world is getting faster, more chaotic and NOISIER. Your new clay brick home will be a haven of quiet. It can even do the impossible and reduce noisy intrusion by teenagers. Read on.
Shut out the world
The double layers of a clay brick wall form a very effective sound barrier. Thanks to their mass, bricks are especially effective in reducing the intrusion of those annoying low frequency sounds, such as traffic and the neighbour's boom box.
The cavity between the layers of bricks also plays a part, disrupting the transmission of sound through the wall.
In contrast, lightweight materials tend to vibrate in response to the sound source in much the same way that a drum vibrates when struck.
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Solid, safe and secure
Safe and secure. It’s a feeling, almost a sense of being protected, and one that is hard to define. But this feeling is one that rates very high with the happy owners of clay brick houses.
Solid construction. For some that feeling of security comes from confidence in the solid construction of their clay brick home. Knowing that their brick home is all but impregnable to the elements and intrusions from the outside world.
Natural comfort. As we saw in Advantages 1 and 2, a well-designed clay brick home will stabilize temperatures, ironing out the highs and lows, and reducing our dependence on artificial cooling. But more importantly it provides a natural level of comfort that enhances our sense of wellbeing.
Breathe easy. In a world of chemical scares, it is comforting to know that bricks are made entirely for naturally-occurring minerals. No chemicals or binders are used, and bricks don’t give off any gases or chemicals, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Fire safety. Brick are naturally fire resistant, and a clay brick house eliminates that use of a timber frame. Steel frames, while fire resistant, are vulnerable to twisting in a fire, causing even more damage. Of course, your clay brick home is not fireproof – no house can claim that – but the solid, fire-resistant structure will remain intact for longer, allowing your family to make their escape.
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It’s a given that brick is a solid form of construction, that lasts a lifetime and longer. Clay brick takes this legendary durability to another level.
A solid framework. Houses evolve over time, undergoing extensions and renovations to meet the demands of another generation. The substantial construction of your clay brick house will provide a solid basis for future alterations and additions.
Looking for a low maintenance exterior finish? Face brickwork – displaying the natural brick finish – is one of the few building systems that never requires painting to preserve its good looks and durability. This is even more important with today’s multi-storey houses on small blocks with narrow boundaries. Repainting upper levels will often require the expense of scaffolding, and may even need access from neighbouring properties.
What about rendered finished? The secret to successful rendering is what’s underneath the render coat. Brickwork provides a solid foundation for render, and the brick surface helps ‘key’ the render, reducing the likelihood of render bubbles or peeling.
Resisting the bumps and scrapes of everyday life. Life can be pretty tough on any building, what with kids using a convenient wall for cricket or soccer practice and Dad bumping the mower into the wall. And that’s just on the outside. Brick can take it all. With minimal maintenance your clay brick walling will look great for decades to come.
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What attracts termites? The answer is cellulose, the fibrous component of timber and plant material such as leaves. Termites don’t bother to blunt their teeth on bricks and mortar.
Every house has some timber, but the key to reducing the likelihood of termite attack is to minimize the amount of structural timber. Skirting boards that have been damaged by termites are easily replaced. The same can’t be said for a timber frame.
A clay brick house with internal brick walls (that is, walls between rooms), built on a properly designed concrete slab eliminates structural timbers at the critical ground level. Of course it is still necessary to take precautions to protect non-structural timber (such as skirtings and architraves) and high level structural timber such as roof trusses.
Sleep soundly in your clay brick home. That chewing sound in the middle of the night is just one of the kids raiding the fridge.
Did you know? Despite being called ‘white ants’ termites are actually related to cockroaches. The queen termite can lay up to 2000 eggs a day and live for up to 50 years.
An international survey showed that one in five houses had a termite problem, either currently or in the past. Their destructive work often goes unnoticed, as the termites chew through timber from the inside, leaving just a thin shell. The first sign of a termite infestation may be when this collapses. Across Malaysia, the annual bill for termite damage is estimated at RM200 million.
World- wide, termites are thought to be responsible for about 40 per cent of methane, a greenhouse gas.
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When does a house become a home? Some say that you build a house but it takes time, experiences and memory to create that special environment that truly says 'home'.
The solidity and comfort of a clay brick house will linger in the memory of you and your family. What do we mean by comfort? It's the quietness of a clay brick house, especially one that features brick partition walls (instead of lightweight stud walls) to limit the spread of sound between rooms.
It's also natural thermal comfort. A well-designed clay brick house will iron out the peaks and troughs of temperature swings without having to resort to almost constant artificial cooling.
It's that indefinable air of quality that a premium product such as a clay brick house exudes.
clay brick houses resist the bumps and scrapes of everday life because thay are built to last…and isn't that the ultimate compliment to our environment ? Built right, built to last.
A clay brick home is all of these… and much more. That's why in years to come your clay brick house will stand out in your family's collective memory as 'home'.
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A unique investment
Once you settle into your new clay brick home, selling it will be the furthest thing from your mind. After all, you can’t place a price on comfort, family heritage and a sense of wellbeing.
But you won’t have to wait to resell to reap financial benefits from your investment in a clay brick home:
- Lower cooling bills. The arrival of every energy bill will confirm the wisdom of your choice. Your bank account (and the environment) will thank you.
- Low maintenance. The inevitable bumps and scrapes of everyday life won’t lead to damage or cracking. An annual washdown is all that is required to keep the your brickwork looking as good as new.
And when that sad day arrives and you place your clay brick house on the market, you will be able take comfort it will attract a price premium over a “comparable” cement sand brick house.
Don't take our word for it. We asked Mr Anthony Chua, Executive Director (Valuation) of KGV-Lambert Smith Hampton (M) Sdn Bhd for his assessment:
"A clay brick home has the added marketing advantage than one which is not built with clay brick in a similar location."
"Clay brick house is perceived to be of more solid construction and of better quality. That is why a clay brick house is becoming the prefered choice of many house buyers."
That's why we contend that a clay brick house is a unique investment that pays dividends throughout its long life.
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