1. Because Genuine Clay Brick is Made from Natural Materials. Brick is made from clay and shale – some of the most abundant,
natural materials on earth – and then fired through a kiln at up to 2000 degrees. The reason the brick turns into such a durable material
is that the clay/shale unit actually goes through a vitrification process in the kiln, which enables the clay particles to fuse together.
Many people may confuse clay brick with "brick" made from other materials. For example,
concrete units rely on a cement paste to bond the materials together. Moreover, concrete
units are inherently a grayish color, which means that users must inject color pigments
before the setting process and use color sealant afterwards to have a color affect. Contrary
to some people's perceptions, clay brick is actually significantly stronget than concrete brick
as well. Another brick-like material, made from fly ash, claims to meet the same performance
standards as clay brick. Since fly ash has no ASTM standards of its own, don't make the
mistake of assuming that brick-resembling products automatically perform as well as
authentic, clay brick.
2. Because Authentic, Brick Has Been Proven For Centuries. What began as a building essential in the Near East and India more than
5,000 years ago, wound its way through the ancient Egyptians,the Indus Valley civilization and the Romans and today has amazingly become
the all-American building product throughout our country’s history. Just look at the structures and roadways in your community. Chances
are, at least some of them are built with brick.
At the same time, bricks today are subject to much more stringent manufacturing processes than used in the past, which results in a more
consistently performing end-product. While it is still possible to purchase hand-made brick, it is also possible to buy the type of architectural
brick that meets extremely strict product specifications.
3. Because Genuine Clay Brick Offers Superior Protection Over Other Wall Cladding Materials: The story of the Three Little Pigs
is just as true today as it was when it was first told to children long ago. Research confirms that genuine clay brick provides superior shelter
in two major categories.
• Fire Protection: Since the primary ingredient in brick is clay which is fired to around 2000 F, it is a
non-combustible material. As such, it is an excellent cladding choice to resist or confine fires. In fact,
both the National Institute of Standards and Technology and BIA conducted separate fire tests that
conclusively demonstrate that:
• Nothing outperforms good old-fashioned brick – even a hollow thinner brick attains a one hour
fire test rating while fiber cement siding does not.
• Today’s “advanced”materials – especially vinyl, get engulfed by flames within minutes. See for
yourself right here.
• High Wind Protection: A study conducted in September, 2004 shows that homes built with brick offer
dramatically more protection from wind-blown debris than homes built with vinyl or fiber-cement siding.
Shelter from the Storm
The study, conducted at the Wind Science and Engineering Research Center at Texas Tech University, demonstrated that amedium-sized
wind-blown object, such as a 7.5-foot long 2 x 4, would penetrate homes built with vinyl or fiber-cement siding at a speed of 25 miles per
hour (mph). By comparison, the same object would need to travel at a speed exceeding 80 mph in order to penetrate the wall of a brick
home. The tests found that homes made with brick exceed the 34 mph impact resistance requirement for high velocity hurricane zones
in the Florida building code. Brick also exceeds Florida’s impact resistance requirements for essential facilities in hurricane areas.
For these reasons, brick is such a strong and durable building material that your Insurance companies may even offer you a discount
on your home insurance costs.
• Superior Moisture Control: According to a nationally - renowned, independent building products research laboratory, brick veneer
wall assemblies control moisture better than wall systems clad with other exterior materials. Therefore, brick veneer wall systems help
minimize mold growth, wood rot and infestation by insects, and corrosion of fasteners embedded in wood better than other
wall assemblies. To read the full report, go to http://www.gobrick.com/Portals/25/docs/Builders/NAHBRC_Moisture.pdf.
4. Because Brick looks better, for far longer and with less maintenance, than other building materials. Brick offers lasting value. It
doesn't rot, dent, or need to be painted and it won't be eaten by termites and will never dent or tear. Its modular shape has resulted in
beautiful structures in just about every architectural style, ranging from colonial to Victorian to post-modernist. It is one of the few materials
that can actually look better with age, and brick absorbs noise - giving it an
acoustic advantage over other materials (especially helpful in densely
populated areas.) With thousands of color and shade options as well as
wide variety of special shapes, the world's most beautiful and most practical
homes are built with brick. Maybe this is why readers see ads for “all-brick”
houses in the local real estate sections much more often than ads for
“all-vinyl” or “all-EIFS" neighborhoods.
5. Because Brick is Naturally Energy-Efficient. Brick is a building
material that has exceptional "thermal mass” properties. Thermal mass
is the ability of a heavy, dense material to store heat and then slowly
release it. For you, this means that during the summer months your
brick home stays cool during the hottest part of the day. During the winter,
brick walls store your home's heat and radiate it back to you. Vinyl,
aluminum, wood or EIFS (artificial stucco) are all thin, light building materials
that don't have good thermal mass properties. The superior thermal mass qualities of brick have been known for centuries.
6. Because Brick is the Most, Sustainable, Green Building Material Made. According to recent statistics, the impact of residential and
commercial buildings account for:
• 65.2% of electricity consumption
• >36% of the country’s “primary energy use”
• 30% of total US greenhouse gas emissions
• 136 million tons of demolition and construction waste in the U.S. That equates approximately 2.8 lbs
per person per day
Given the significance buildings have on energy consumption, brick should be part of a comprehensive green
strategy because today’s brick includes:
• Inherently Natural Ingredients – brick is predominantly made from clay and shale, which are
among the most abundant materials available on earth.
• Countless Recycling Options such as salvaged brick, crushed brick for sub-base materials, chipped
brick for permanent landscaping mulch - all for the brick product itself.
• Minimal Waste because virtually all of the mined clay is used in the manufacturing process making the
recycling and waste containment unequalled by any other building material. In fact, over 80% of our
manufacturers re-use their own fired waste material or convert it into other products. And if you decide
to pitch it, there is no special handling required because brick is simply earth – so it’s inert.
• Brick is the first masonry material that can attain a “Certificate of Environmental Claims” from a third party source. The National
Brick Research Center, an organization of the College of Engineering andcScience at Clemson University, has developed a standard to verify the
amount of recycled content in brick, the utilization of renewable energy in the firing process, and the reduction in the amount of resources used
to manufacture brick.
• Environmentally Friendly Manufacturing Processes. More than 80% of brick kilns are fired with natural gas, and numerous plants use fuels
of bio-based materials from other industrial applications and waste products. Energy sources include methane gas from landfills and sawdust
from furniture manufacturers.
• Low Embodied Energy to Manufacture Brick. With clay brick’s renowned longevity, no additional energy will be needed to make a
replacement brick for many decades – if not centuries. The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) gives brick masonry a
100-year life, and many brick buildings older than a century are still in use today. In fact, brick is one of the few materials that building codes
allow to be reused in a building application when it meets the ASTM standard for clay brick. Consequently, salvaged bricks are in high demand
and represent a vibrant market.