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PGH clay bricks have it all!

We are all guilty of it at some point. The things that are solid and always there, we tend to take for granted … like bricks. Bricks are not a default building material but an essential choice in energy efficient design.

PGH Bricks In PGH’s experience, greys and browns have emerged as the current trend colours in New South Wales. There is also a preference for composite building designs that feature bricks mixed with a range of materials such as steel, timber or stone.

Bricks have thermal mass or the capacity to store heat. A large thermal mass within a house can serve to ‘flatten out’ the daily temperature fluctuations, since the thermal mass will absorb heat when the surroundings are hotter than the mass, and give heat back when the surroundings are cooler.

The Australian Greenhouse Office says “Thermal mass acts as a ‘thermal battery’. During summer thermal mass absorbs heat, keeping the house comfortable. In winter the same thermal mass can store the heat from the sun or heaters to release it at night helping the home stay warm.”1

This thermal mass is a key part of solar passive design, a proven method of keeping your home at a comfortable temperature all year round and without the need for heating and cooling devices. The benefit to you - lower electricity loads and costs.

Using the measurement known as Embodied Energy (the energy consumed in the manufacture of various building materials) the CSIRO has concluded that clay bricks have less Embodied Energy than aluminium, steel, glass or timber.2

The brick and paver industry body, Think Brick Australia, has undertaken a major research program over several years with the University of Newcastle, to prove clay brick is a superior building material in producing thermally comfortable, energy efficient environments for people to live, work and play.

Whilst the research will be ongoing, the results published to date have shown that the use of thermal mass levels out the temperature swings during the heat of summer and the cold of winter. As a result of the research, Think Brick will soon launch a new Climate Design web tool to make climate design more practical and accessible to designers, architects and planners. By entering a postcode users will have access to full climate data and design strategies for that area.

PGH bricks are made from clays and shale which are natural materials. As well as being non-combustible, PGH bricks are termite resistant. There is virtually no maintenance required, and no need to repaint or repair cracks.

According to PGH Bricks and Pavers, a division of CSR Building Products, the brick manufacturing process produces virtually no emissions, and the finished product is free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Moreover, at the end of their lifecycle, bricks can be recycled.

Along with the walling material, there are four factors which affect the energy efficiency of a home design:

  • Orientation – placement of the house in relation to the sun
  • Insulation – a wall’s ability to isolate temperature
  • Ventilation – air flow through the house
  • Mass – heavyweight wall materials slow the passage of heat through a wall, a process called ‘thermal lag’. The easiest way to get this heavy mass into walls is brickwork. The heavier the brick, the higher its thermal value.

1. www.greenhouse.gov.au/yourhome/technical/817.htm
2. www.thinkbrick.com.au

For more information call Home Option Gallery PGH Bricks Logo
on (02) 8860 9333 or see Bricks.