FEATURES Shangase agrees on the affordability of this building material. Clay face brick compares very well with other building material and does not require any further maintenance. “It comes in different colours and grading allowing the architect and developer the opportunity to explore different designs at affordable prices.” “Aesthetics and ongoing maintenance play key roles in the affordable housing segment and are often why more and more developers choose clay face brick as their material of choice,” says Shangase. There are a vast range of paving bricks and colours to choose from. “For low cost housing, the grey bevels would be the most affordable as there are no colourants involved,” Meyer suggests. “All options available depend on budget and personal preference.” BRICK IS THE WAY TO GO In 2009 the Clay Brick Association began its research programme to identify which walling types and construction methodologies provide the best balance between firstly cost, lifecycle cost, thermal comfort, lifecycle energy consumption and achievement of dignity. The first project took a 40m² low cost house as an example and the research confirms that double skin clay brick "It is important to find an experienced contractor who can build according to the relevant standards and architectural specifications." constructions are relatively cost effective compared with light steel frame building (the latter was chosen to represent lightweight IBTs in general). The research established clay brick construction as an inspired design choice for low cost housing, double brick construction affording low total greenhouse gas emissions (embodied plus operational energy) over a 40-year lifecycle. Since that research ClayBrick.org has commissioned research in respect of a 130m² standard brick house with similar results. Simply put, clay brick is specified in construction to afford optimal energy efficiency for houses here in South Africa, lowest heating and cooling energy in all six climatic zones of South Africa. When it comes to using bricks in the affordable housing sector, one really can write novels about the dos and don’ts and a few more on why it should be the material of choice. The executive summary? It’s a good idea – just make sure the contractor knows what he’s doing! SA Patent no. ZA2011/01062 Brick easy is essentially a system to lay bricks in a new and improved manner. The only tool required for the actual laying of the bricks is a pair of gloves for the bricklayer and the other components of the team. Any labourer with a minimum amount of training can easily be part of a team of three that can lay 500 bricks in an hour. THE STRUCTURAL BENEFITS OF BRICK EASY: The other important function which the profile performs, is the strength offered when the brick is laid against it – as opposed to virtually zero strength of the traditional fish line. The bricklayer is able to force the brick flush against the profile and push the next brick and mortar vertically to close the gaps between bricks. This means that there will not be any air gaps between bricks and that the mortar will be adhesive to the entire brick, making the brickwork very strong. The Headed or English bond which is seldom used nowadays, is easy to lay with this system. By using the mortar box to spread the fluid mortar, the bricklayer simply has to slide the brick over, taking enough mortar with the brick to push against the next brick and close the vertical joint completely. HIGH PRODUCTIVITY: THREE SEMI-SKILLED WORKERS 500 BRICKS PER HOUR Giuseppe Dalla Torre +27 (0) 83 305 5191 firstname.lastname@example.org The little building pictured, measuring approximately 5m², was not only built for the purpose of the SABS test, but also to see how quick a building labourer could learn how to use the Brick Easy System. The SABS test was successful on all the requirements and parameters and a Certificate was issued. With a little bit of supervision, the three building labourers were able to lay six hundred bricks in the first hour, and two hours later the job was completed. W hen the time came to demolish the little building, I used a two and a half ton fork lift with a weight of fou r tons. I pointed the forks two brick courses from the top of the building, kept a distance of half a meter from the building and proceeded to impact the forks against the wall. However, there was no sign of movement and no cracks were noted. Only on the second attempt at the top brick course of the building did I manage to dislodge some bricks. I could not continue using the fork lift for fear of damaging it, and I opted for an air-driven breaker which still took a long time to eventually demolish the building.