Clay Brick in house construction simply supreme
Research findings in the USA, Australia and South Africa continue to compound endorsing clay brick constructions pre-eminent status for sustainable house construction in South Africa.
Considering just energy efficiency, the correlation in the findings of empirical, thermal modeling and parametric studies endorse clay brick external wall constructions ability to outperform comparable lightweight. The empirical findings also confirm that clay brick internal partition walls add further to the thermal comfort and lower energy usage no matter the external walling construction type.
The findings of the latter 8 years of empirical study at the University of Newcastle's Priority Research Centre for Energy, where building modules comprising different Australian wall construction types were continually measured under real world conditions in both free floating and controlled environments, are clear:
Insulated lightweight building (high thermal resistance [R-value] with no thermal mass in the walls) was the worst performing in all seasons.
Brick veneer (brick applied to the external skin of the external wall) performed better than the lightweight.
Insulated cavity brick performed the best.
When thermal mass was added in the form of internal walls to the 6m x 6m modules the additional energy reductions were as follows:
Insulated cavity brick 6%
Insulated reverse brick veneer 8%
Insulated lightweight 20%
Internal partition walls in brick afforded improvements in all instances with the effect of the additional thermal mass however being less prominent than for the lightweight external walled building, this because the masonry walled modules were already benefiting from the lower energy demand that the external thermal mass provided.
For more detail on the comparative performance of different wall construction types and why double skin clay brick construction with the appropriate use of resistance for the climatic zone is the real deal for achieving optimal energy efficiency in climates akin to South Africa, go www.thinkbrick.com.au - Energy Efficiency and the Environment, The case for clay brick, Edition 4 and A Study of the Thermal Performance of Australian Housing.
Combine clay brick constructions energy efficiency with the materials robustness, inert qualities that assure low environmental impacts while supporting health and wellbeing, cost effectiveness as built and propensity to provide lowest lifecycle cost, and clay brick's continued use in construction makes perfect sense for sustainable house construction in South Africa.