The choice of materials and methods is a crucial decision that shapes a construction project.
Imagine you’re crafting a space – maybe a modern urban home, a bustling store, or a place of learning. Which brick building method should you use?
These methods, brick cladding vs. full brick construction, while both involving the use of bricks, offer unique pathways to achieving architectural brilliance. Understanding the differences between brick cladding and full brick construction is paramount to making an informed choice that aligns with your project’s vision and requirements.
This blog explores the differences in brick cladding vs. full brick construction, highlighting the benefits of both building methods, and how to choose the right one for your project.
Exploring Brick Cladding
Firstly, let’s delve into brick cladding and how it works as a building system.
Brick cladding can be described as a decorative layer, adding texture and colour to the outside of a façade. This gives you the chance to play with different looks.
There are many types of brick cladding, all of which with their own benefits.
Let’s have a quick recap of these:
- Mechanically Fixed Brick Slip Systems
Specially shaped bricks can fit into aluminium rails – creating a mechanically fixed brick slip system.
- Precast Concrete With Brick Slips
Precast concrete panels are prepared and manufactured off-site and delivered ready to install.
- Adhesively Fixed Brick Slip Solutions
When a mechanical fix is not required, thinner bricks or slips, can be applied to lightweight boards or directly to substrates.
- GRC (Glass Reinforced Concrete)
Glass Reinforced Concrete (GRC), with brick inset into the mould, has become a go-to choice for cladding in modern architecture. One of the main reasons is its incredible versatility, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s about 80% lighter than pre-cast steel reinforced concrete cladding.
Aesthetic freedom is a huge perk of Brick Cladding. Without major structural changes, brick cladding lets you experiment with styles or revamp older structures.
Furthermore, compared to building an entire wall with traditional bricks, cladding usually comes with benefits such as speed of build, lightweight construction, and reduced skilled labour.
On larger projects you can get the look without breaking the bank.
And if you’re a fan of mixing materials in your designs, cladding offers this benefit. It can be combined with other materials like glass or metal, giving you even more creative avenues to explore.
Full Brick Construction Method
Full brick construction is often considered as the cornerstone of architectural tradition, and as architects, structural integrity is crucial.
Commonly known as the simplest way to build a brick wall, this method has been used for centuries.
Using full brick construction offers a range of benefits that contribute to the structural integrity, aesthetic appeal, and sustainability of a building.
So, what are the key advantages?
Exceptional Strength and Durability: Full brick walls provide a robust load-bearing structure that is highly resistant to weather elements, fire, and pests. Bricks have a long lifespan and require minimal maintenance over time, making them a durable choice for long-term structural integrity.
Thermal Performance: Bricks have excellent thermal mass properties, which means they can absorb and release heat slowly. This contributes to effective temperature regulation inside the building, reducing the need for excessive heating or cooling systems and enhancing energy efficiency.
Aesthetic Appeal: The timeless charm of full brick construction can lend a sense of authenticity and character to a building’s design. Brick facades exude a sense of permanence and can complement various architectural styles, from historic to contemporary.
Low Maintenance: Full brick walls require minimal maintenance compared to other materials. They don’t need painting or frequent repairs, saving time and resources in the long run.
Weather Resistance: Brick walls are highly resistant to weathering, including rain, wind, and UV radiation. This resistance helps maintain the building’s appearance and structural integrity over the years.
Brick Cladding vs Full Brick Construction: What Are The Differences?
These two methodologies represent distinct paths, each with its merits and considerations.
There are some main factors of a new project that the choose of brickwork can affect.
Let’s compare these factors and how brick cladding differs from full brick construction.
- Cost, Budget, and Time
Dependant on the project, brick cladding can be more cost-effective than full brick construction due to reduced material and labour expenses. This usually applies to larger projects where the increased cost of material can be offset by site savings.
For those looking to specify brickwork for a project that uses less labour and time, brick cladding stands out.
- Design Flexibility
While associated with traditional aesthetics, full brick construction still offers design flexibility. It accommodates curves, arches, and ornate detailing, enabling architects to craft intricate visual narratives.
However, the versatility of brick cladding allows architects to experiment with innovative design concepts, mix materials, and blend different architectural styles to create unique facades. For example, brick slips are often used with brick cladding to create intricate designs.
Simple details such as projecting headers are usually better suited to traditional façades, whereas as complex details on large projects suit precast solutions.
- Environmental Impact
The use of cladding can contribute to resource conservation by using fewer bricks in the form of slips. However, it’s essential to consider the environmental impact of the materials used for the structural frame beneath the cladding. Cladding systems such as GRC (Glass Reinforced Concrete) uses less cement than equivalent concrete and produces much lower carbon dioxide emissions during manufacture.
Alternatively, bricks are natural, locally available materials that contribute to sustainable construction practices. The durability and energy efficiency of brick walls further enhance their eco-friendly profile.
Brick Cladding vs. Full Brick Construction: Making A Decision
Understanding the considerations of your project before deciding on a brick method is crucial.
For example, consider the location, budget, structural factors, design criteria, and project timeline of your project.
Which method suits all of these considerations?
Consider which project drivers are important to you, and specify the correct brick method for you.
If you are still unsure on the right method for you, make sure to contact a company like Creative Brick Solutions for expert advice.
A member of the team can discuss the benefits of each building method, and how you can ensure your project runs smoothly.
What Is Brick Cladding, And How Does It Differ From Full Brick Construction?
Brick Cladding involves adding a decorative layer of brick slips to the exterior of a building, enhancing its visual appeal. Full Brick Construction, on the other hand, uses bricks as the primary load-bearing structure of the building.
What Are The Main Benefits Of Using Full Brick Construction?
Full Brick Construction offers exceptional strength, durability, fire resistance, and sound insulation. It provides excellent thermal performance, requires minimal maintenance, and has a timeless aesthetic appeal.
Which Method Is More Cost-Effective: Brick Cladding Or Full Brick Construction?
Overall cost is project specific. For large projects over 6-8 storeys, brick cladding is generally more budget-friendly due to reduced labour costs and other benefits. Brick cladding construction might have higher initial costs but can lead to long-term savings.
How Do These Methods Impact Sustainability And The Environment?
Brick Cladding conserves materials by using thinner decorative bricks, but it’s crucial to consider the environmental impact of the structural frame beneath. Full Brick Construction employs natural, locally available materials, contributing to sustainable construction practices.
Which Method Allows For More Design Flexibility And Innovation?
Both methods offer design possibilities, but in different ways. Full Brick Construction enables architects to work with classic aesthetics, accommodating curves, arches, and intricate detailing. Precast concrete is usually required for intricate details in the form of a cladding solution.