A home is a place where we spend most of our times, not realizing that it is the most important thing that demands investment. Beauty, aesthetics is something that has a sense of calm and serenity, giving the mind- a sense of peace. We go out to places far away in search for that calm, but it is rarely we make dedicated and meticulous decisions about the place that we see most often.
We plan for our trip-every inch of it but we complacently and comfortably give contracts of our homes to builders and architects. We do however focus on the furnishings and the decor leaving aside the basics- the building material, whether they are naturally made or are eco friendly or if they have a soothing effect.
In the age of digitization, when everything is available on the web, why don’t we make informed decisions about each and every aspect of the home and demand the best for our comforting abodes.
In this section lets talk about the building blocks.
History: How clay bricks were made
Bricks, the building blocks of a home have a history of being made by natural clay and binders like straw etc. around 5,000 years ago in the Middle East. Initially the mud bricks were kept out in the sun to dry but with the coming of the Industrial Revolution, the use of machines started aggressively where the bricks were shaped and then fired in kilns.
Gradually the basic materials used in the making changed – mortor, barium carbonate, manganese, byproducts from papermaking, flocculents and deflocculents and a variety of coating materials are being used.
Present: How clay bricks are made now
With the advent of technology, clay bricks are produced in many varieties, horizontally perforated clay bricks, thermo bricks, vertically perforated clay bricks. These clay bricks are used for Non-Load Bearing partition walls or infill masonry.
Useage of clay from de-silting of dead water tanks and natural additives like rice husk, saw dust and coal ash make present day clay bricks strong and durable. For example, Porotherm clay bricks (manufactured by Wienerberger India) are completely natural with no pollutants.
[VIEDO] Glimpse of manufacturing facility of Wienerberger India:
They use state of the art technologies to manufacture the bricks and are known for their immaculate R&D Department. The bricks are scientifically designed with perforations, which help in reducing the load and also aid in thermal insulation.
The bricks are 60% lighter than the usual solid brick, having a compressive strength of more than 3.5 N/mm2 , density of approximately 694 to 783 kg/m3 , and a water absorption capacity of 15%. Due to the light weight, there is a cut in the unnecessary dead load resulting in reduction of the structural cost.
The bricks are fired at 1000 degrees and have a fire rating of F240 – 240 minutes.
Why clay bricks are environment friendly
- The buildings provide a healthy and comfortable living as the bricks are constructed by completely natural products having no toxic materials, with a breathable structure that facilitates climate control.
- There is a reduction in the consumption of nonrenewable resources and the building material is completely recyclable as environmentally preferable products are used.
- There are no negative effects of the building on the environment as they do not emit any volatile organic compounds or formaldehyde.
- There no highly toxic byproducts generated by the production of the bricks, which is normal in the usual making of the bricks.
- The bricks do not contain any ozone depleting substances, CFCs or HCFCs.
- The eco-friendly bricks enhance the indoor environment quality
Porotherm is rated by Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) and the bricks are listed in green product category under energy efficient product by IGBC.
Why clay bricks are easy on pockets
- The bricks are 60% lighter than conventional solid bricks, that helps in reducing the dead load, allowing substantial savings on the structural cost.
- The light weight also allows faster construction which helps in saving on the extra labor costs.
- The perforated clay bricks have an excellent thermal insulation which is 45% better than the usual ones which helps in direct savings on energy consumption on A/Cs and heating devices.
- They have high comprehensive strength which aids in the improved productivity in masonry. It makes chiseling and chasing easier for electrical and plumbing channels aiding any installation of the fixtures (cabinets, closets, geysers, etc.) This again reduces the labor cost easing it on the budget.
- The bricks enjoy substantially long life, cannot be burnt as they already are fired at 1000 degrees.