Because Genuine Clay Brick is Made from Natural Materials.
Brick is made from clay and shale - some of the most abundant, natural
materials on earth - and then fired through a kiln at up to 1000
degrees. The reason the brick turns into such a durable
material is that the clay/shale unit actually goes through a
vitrification process in the kiln, which enables the clay particles to fuse
Many people may confuse clay brick with "brick" made from
other materials. For example, concrete units rely on a
cement paste to bond the materials together. Moreover,
concrete units are inherently a grayish colour, which means that users
must inject colour pigments before the setting process and use colour
sealant afterwards to have a colour affect. Contrary to some
people's perceptions, clay brick is actually significantly stronger than
concrete brick as well. Another brick-like
material, made from fly ash, claims to meet the
same performance standards as clay brick. Since fly ash has
no ASTM standards of its own, don't make the mistake
of assuming that brick-resembling products automatically perform as
well as authentic, clay brick.
Because Authentic, Brick Has Been Proven For Centuries.
What began as a building essential in the Near East and India more
than 5,000 years ago, wound its way through the ancient Egyptians, the Indus
Valley civilization and the Romans and today has amazingly
become the all-American building product throughout our country's
history. Just look at the structures and roadways
in your community. Chances are, at least some of them are
built with brick.
At the same time, bricks today are subject to much more stringent
manufacturing processes than used in the past, which results in a
more consistently performing end-product. While it is still
possible to purchase hand-made brick, it is also possible to buy the type of
architectural brick that meets extremely strict product specifications.
Because Genuine Clay Brick Offers Superior Protection Over
Other Wall Cladding Materials: The story of the
Three Little Pigs is just as true today as it was when it was first told
to children long ago. Research confirms that genuine clay brick
provides superior shelter in two major categories.
Protection: Since the primary ingredient in brick is clay which is fired
to around 2000 F, it is a non-combustible material. As such, it is an
excellent cladding choice to resist or confine fires. In
fact, both the National Institute of Standards and Technology and BIA
conducted separate fire tests that conclusively demonstrate that:
outperforms good old-fashioned brick - even a hollow thinner brick attains a
one hour fire test rating while fiber cement siding does not.
"advanced" materials - especially vinyl, get engulfed by flames within minutes.
Wind Protection: A study conducted in September, 2004 shows that homes built
with brick offer dramatically more protection from wind-blown debris
than homes built with vinyl or fiber-cement siding.
Shelter from the Storm
The study, conducted at the Wind Science and Engineering Research Center at
Texas Tech University, demonstrated that a medium-sized wind-blown
object, such as a 7.5-foot long 2 x 4, would penetrate homes built with vinyl
or fiber-cement siding at a speed of 25 miles per hour (mph). By comparison,
the same object would need to travel at a speed exceeding 80 mph in order to
penetrate the wall of a brick home. The tests found that homes
made with brick exceed the 34 mph impact resistance requirement for high
velocity hurricane zones in the Florida building code. Brick also exceeds
Florida's impact resistance requirements for essential facilities in
For these reasons, brick is such a strong and durable building material that
your Insurance companies may even offer you a discount on your home
o Superior Moisture
Control: According to a nationally -
renowned, independent building products research laboratory, brick veneer
wall assemblies control moisture better than wall systems clad with other
exterior materials. Therefore, brick veneer wall systems help minimize
mold growth, wood rot and infestation by insects, and corrosion of fasteners
embedded in wood better than other wall assemblies. To read the
full report, go to:
Because Brick looks better, for far longer and with less
maintenance, than other building materials. Brick
offers lasting value. It doesn't rot, dent, or need to be painted and it
won't be eaten by termites and will never dent or tear. Its modular shape has
resulted in beautiful structures in just about every architectural style,
ranging from colonial to Victorian to post-modernist. It is one of the
few materials that can actually look better with age, and brick absorbs
noise - giving it an acoustic advantage over other materials
(especially helpful in densely populated areas.) With thousands of
colour and shade options as well as wide variety of special shapes,
the world's most beautiful and most practical homes are built
with brick. Maybe this is why readers see ads for
"all-brick" houses in the local real estate sections much more often
than ads for "all-vinyl" or "all-EIFS" neighborhoods.
Because Brick is Naturally Energy-Efficient.
Brick is a building material that has exceptional "thermal mass"
properties. Thermal mass is the ability of a heavy, dense material to
store heat and then slowly release it. For you, this means that during
the summer months your brick home stays cool during the hottest
part of the day. During the winter, brick walls store your home's heat
and radiate it back to you. Vinyl, aluminium, wood or EIFS
(artificial stucco) are all thin, light building materials that don't
have good thermal mass properties. The superior thermal mass
qualities of brick have been known for centuries.
Because Brick is the Most, Sustainable, Green Building
Material Made. According to recent statistics, the impact of
residential and commercial buildings account for:
of electricity consumption
of the country's "primary energy use"
of total US greenhouse gas emissions
million tons of demolition and construction waste in the U.S. That
equates approximately 2.8 lbs per person per day
Given the significance buildings
have on energy consumption, brick should be part of a comprehensive green strategy because today's brick
Natural Ingredients - brick is predominantly made
from clay and shale, which are among the most abundant materials available on
Recycling Options such as salvaged brick, crushed
brick for sub-base materials, chipped brick for permanent
landscaping mulch - all for the brick product itself.
Waste because virtually all of the mined clay is used in the manufacturing
process making the recycling and waste containment unequalled
by any other building material. In fact, over 80% of our manufacturers
re-use their own fired waste material or convert it into other products.
And if you decide to pitch it, there is no special handling required
because brick is simply earth - so it's inert.
is the first masonry material that can attain a "Certificate of Environmental
Claims" from a third party source. The
National Brick Research Center, an organization of the College of
Engineering and Science at Clemson University, has developed a standard to
verify the amount of recycled content in brick, the utilization of renewable
energy in the firing process, and the reduction in the amount of resources
used to manufacture brick.
Friendly Manufacturing Processes. More than 80% of
brick kilns are fired with natural gas and numerous plants use fuels of
bio-based materials from other industrial applications and waste
products. Energy sources include methane gas from landfills and
sawdust from furniture manufacturers.
Embodied Energy to Manufacture Brick. With clay brick's
renowned longevity, no additional energy will be needed to make
a replacement brick for many decades - if not centuries. The National
Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) gives brick masonry
a 100-year life, and many brick buildings older than a century are
still in use today. In fact, brick is one of the few materials
that building codes allow to be reused in a building application
when it meets the ASTM standard for clay brick. Consequently, salvaged
bricks are in high demand and represent a vibrant market.