keyboard_arrow_upClay brick for thermally efficient construction
keyboard_arrow_downClay brick for thermally efficient construction

Research continues to present the many reasons why clay brick construction, so widely applied in South Africa for house construction, deserves its pre-eminent status. Equally interesting is the finding that clay brick internal partition walls add so much more to the thermal comfort equation of houses than previously thought.

keyboard_arrow_upEnergy-saving eco-friendly heating
keyboard_arrow_downEnergy-saving eco-friendly heating

BioFire Fireplaces joined the South African marketplace at the end of 2010, responding to a real demand for ecologically-friendly and electricity-independent heating in South Africa.  As the costs of electricity and gas continue to escalate, wood offers an appealing and cost-effective alternative and it is a renewable resource, growing in abundance around the country.  A BioFire fireplace uses, on average, only 18 pieces of wood a day, to generate hours of heat for the home. Consider how much this could save you in terms of gas or electricity usage. 

keyboard_arrow_upClay bricks deliver low maintenance and thermal efficiency
keyboard_arrow_downClay bricks deliver low maintenance and thermal efficiency

Leading South African brick manufacturer, Corobrik, supplied over 600 000 bricks for the construction of new residential accommodation at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s (UKZN’s) Pietermaritzburg campus. The university needed a modern, practical building to accommodate medical students. According to Llew Bryan Architects, the architects appointed to the project, the client specifically required that low maintenance materials should be used and energy efficiency, in terms of ongoing operational costs, was a further key consideration.

keyboard_arrow_upConsider thermal mass rather than R-values alone
keyboard_arrow_downConsider thermal mass rather than R-values alone

While historical buildings remind us of the enduring and aesthetic attributes of clay brick in architecture, the current focus on global warming, the need to optimise energy efficiency in buildings and the renewed interest in passive solar design principles are all reminders of the thermal properties of clay brick walling.

keyboard_arrow_upConcrete as an ideal insulation material
keyboard_arrow_downConcrete as an ideal insulation material

Concrete, one of the world’s most widely used building materials, is not only a particularly durable material but also provides effective sound and thermal insulation. Hanlie Turner, marketing manager at the Cement & Concrete Institute (C&CI), says noise can be described as unwanted sound. “When sound waves strike a barrier such as a wall or floor, the waves are reflected, absorbed or transmitted in varying degrees, depending on the form of the barrier and the material in which it is constructed.