In recent years, attention has focused on reducing a home’s environmental impact. In the technological world, bricks stand out as a simple yet efficient technology with a low environmental impact.
Produced from all natural products, clay and shale – two of the worlds most abundant materials, the processing of bricks involves almost no waste and does not require the use of chemicals, binders or additives.
This eliminates the possibility of volatile organic compounds being leached into the home and environment that may be harmful.
With their organic qualities, bricks are 100% recyclable and can be reclaimed and reused.
Even if bricks end up in landfill, they are inert and will not lead to chemical leaching, pollution or groundwater contamination.
The increasing concern, and need, to build energy efficient homes has seen the introduction of building regulations such as BASIX; requiring a home to meet several energy/water consumption reduction targets.
An easy ways to do this is by reducing greenhouse gas emissions caused through energy consumption. Incorporating bricks into a home’s design can greatly reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions due to their thermal mass.
A massive 39% of energy consumed in the average Australian home goes into heating and cooling. This compares to just 9% for lighting and cooking. So, reducing the heating/cooling bill will pay big bonuses for the bottom-line and the environment.
Brett Ward, Brickworks Group Marketing Manager says ongoing quantitative research by Austral Bricks and the University of Newcastle has established that thermal mass provided by bricks is a critical component in energy efficient house design.
“The research shows that homes constructed in full brick are able to even out Australia’s temperature fluctuations better than other materials.”
“Brickwork’s high thermal mass irons out the temperature variations naturally, to a range more consistent with the ideal family comfort zone.
“By harnessing the thermal mass qualities of bricks and combining them with passive design principles we can have a real impact on families’ energy bills and dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
According to the CSIRO bricks’ embodied energy* is at the bottom end of the building products scale on a weight for weight basis.
Consider this fact; changing just three 100W incandescent light bulbs to 20W compact fluorescents in the home will save 19.5 tonnes of greenhouse gas over fifty years.
This is more than the greenhouse gas emissions produced in the production of bricks for an average full brick home.
Austral Bricks have display centres at Horsley Park, Bowral, Albion Park, Punchbowl, Fyshwick ACT, Newcastle and Tuggerah.
* Embodied energy is the energy used and greenhouse gas produced to gather raw materials, transport them and the manufacturing process to produce a product.