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Corobrik secures specification of double skin clay brick for Kimberley RDP housing

Corobrik has secured the specification of double skin brickwork for 500 RDP houses at the Lindelani Youth Build Project in Kimberley and commenced supplies for first phase of 153 houses under construction. The project was officially launched by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Youth Day, 16 June.

This project is a testament to the utility and affordability of clay brick construction in this lower end of the market, said Corobrik managing director, Dirk Meyer.

The specification of double skin face brick for RDP housing is supported by the findings of the WSP Green by Design research report on the energy modelling of 40 m² Low Cost Houses. The research shows that double skin walling is an enlightened design solution for low cost housing in South Africa, being cost effective as built, and with all the lifecycle benefits that come with the durability and robustness of clay brick.

The WSP Green by Design research compared insulated lightweight system building technologies such as LSFB with un-insulated double skin clay brick houses, and found that notwithstanding clay brick constructions lower built cost, the clay brick houses also provided superior thermal comfort and lower heating energy usage.

The high thermal mass inherent in double skin clay brick cavity walls of these smaller footprint homes is what helps keep the inside of such homes cool in summer and warm in winter, Meyer said. This is particularly valuable in the Northern Cape which borders on the Kalahari desert with its extreme fluctuations in temperature through the seasons.

On a national level, when the thermal advantages of double skin clay brick walls are applied to thousands of RDP houses, this was found in the research to result in lower peak energy demands on the national grid and less pressure on boosting power generation to meet the electricity needs of government's future housing programmes.

Another important consideration when building for this sector is that the homes meet the aspirations of the prospective homeowners to live in proper houses built using quality materials that lend dignity and provide a sense of home.

The contribution of clay brick walled houses to healthy living is also important. Being incombustible and benign, clay bricks release no toxic fumes that could affect air quality - in both normal conditions or during a fire. They also have natural sound insulation properties, supporting quiet indoor environments.

Simply put, a double skinned face brick home fulfils all three sustainable development imperatives, economic, social and environmental and is the optimal solution for affordable housing in this country, Meyer continued.

Each of the Lindelani houses is a 42 square metre RDP house with face brick finish and tiled roof. They are being constructed using Corobrik's Nebraska Travertine Light clay bricks from the company's Lawley factory, with the plaster bricks coming from the Odendaalsrus factory.

Face brick was a popular choice with the beneficiaries of these new RDP homes, said, Tebogo Bonokwane of the Sol Plaatjie Housing Support Centre, who are the initiating agents and managers of the Lindelani Youth Build Project. They are very pleased that their new homes look attractive because of the natural colour of the face brick and that they will never have to spend money on painting the outside walls. Knowing that they will also save on energy costs and that they are living in a good quality house is just as satisfying for them. The community is very happy with this project.

One of the RDP houses under construction at the Lindelani Youth Build Project in Kimberley using Corobrik Nebraska Travertine Light clay face bricks. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa oficially handed over the house to a very proud beneficiary on Youth Day. (Corobrik donated the bricks for the first two units).

Thomas Dlengezele (Corobrik Sales Representative) & Brenda Solomons (Senior Secretary of the National Department of Human Settlements) who co-ordinated the official handover ceremony.