An immediate benefit of good thermal design for house and building occupants is improved health, which results directly from improved thermal comfort levels.
Improved comfort in buildings will also generate heating or cooling cost savings, due to building occupants requiring less energy to heat or cool their surrounds when they are comfortable. This reduction in energy consumption translates directly into a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The poor standard of thermal performance in low income and informal housing in South Africa has been identified by researchers as disproportionate to the expenditure required for heating/cooling energy by the underprivileged as result of these low standards. The financial wellbeing of this community can be improved, through efficient thermal design to meet the required comfort standards.
The Clay Brick Association of South Africa has conducted independent research which proves that buildings with optimised thermal performance in the walling, and constructed with clay brick, as well as the appropriate levels of thermal resistance, will consume less heating and cooling energy and are the cheapest for occupants to run.
Buildings should be built to last and as such the life cycle value of a building derived from long term durability, low maintenance and energy savings should be the key determining factor to be taken into account. Clay bricks fulfil all these requirements in ensuring solid quality constructions, and offer the most efficient and cost-effective solutions in the long-term.
Clay brick is a durable and timeless building material that complements the aesthetic and functional needs of any building. Structures that were built from clay brick and remain standing after centuries of exposure, have proved the durability of clay brick many times over. Thus, with very little maintenance, buildings made from clay brick can outlast many generations.
Clay brick’s are renowned for their thermal attributes that provide warmth in winter and cooler conditions in summer, thus ensuring that energy is not squandered on artificial heating and cooling mechanisms.
Clay brick also facilitates the reduction of external noise for buildling occupants, and also prevents noise from within the home being heard by neighbours. The density of clay means they resist the transmission of airborne sound waves, ensuring that the ever present noise of today’s bustling urban environment will remain outside the walls. Built with clay, multi-dwelling buildings such as villas, townhouses, offices and apartments will not be subjected to excessive noise transmitted from adjoining buildings, or rooms.
Since clay brick is incombustible it cannot contribute to the start or spread of fires nor can it add fuel to make a fire more intense. Therefore, clay brick walls obtain maximum fire ratings as they are able to withstand fully developed fires the longest.
Clay bricks are rendered water resistant making them impervious to all forms of weather conditions. They comprise of a fine capillary pore system which has the ability to absorb moisture from rain or water vapour and then release it back into the atmosphere again as quickly. Clay brick is the most reliable and enduring of all building materials. Few other fabricated building units have enjoyed such widespread and continuous popularity.
Clay brick products must conform to stringent SABS industry codes that define the parameters of product manufacture, building design and materials application, and are deemed fit for purpose.