In the ever-evolving world of construction and architecture, innovative solutions are continually reshaping the way we build and renovate our structures.
One such innovation that has gained significant traction in recent years is mechanical fix brick cladding. This contemporary approach to exterior design and construction offers many advantages that make it a compelling choice for architects.
In this blog post, we will delve into the world of mechanical brick cladding and explore the five key benefits that make it a game-changer in the construction industry.
Drawing insights from cutting-edge systems like “MechSlip” by Ash & Lacy and their versatile product line “Natural-X,” we’ll uncover how this technology not only saves time and money but also offers remarkable reduced weight considerations, simplified maintenance, and enhanced energy efficiency.
Let’s get into it!
1. Time And Cost Savings
One of the foremost advantages of mechanical fix brick cladding is the remarkable time and cost savings it brings to construction and renovation projects. Traditional bricklaying, with its mortar application and brick-by-brick assembly, can be a labour-intensive and time-consuming process.
In contrast, mechanical brick cladding streamlines this procedure in several ways:
Reduced Labour Costs: The installation of mechanical brick cladding systems involves fewer man-hours compared to traditional bricklaying. Skilled labour is required for assembly, but the process is generally more efficient.
Faster Installation: With a well-designed mechanical cladding system, such as MechSlip, the attachment of brick slips or panels to the substrate is expedited. This expeditious installation can significantly shorten construction schedules.
Minimised Disruption: Reduced construction time means fewer disruptions for both builders and occupants. This is particularly advantageous in commercial settings, where time equates to revenue.
Fewer Material Costs: Mechanical brick cladding often utilises brick slips, which are more cost-effective than full-size bricks. Additionally, it reduces the need for extensive mortar and grout materials.
Lower Maintenance Costs: Over time, the streamlined installation process and durable materials used in mechanical cladding can lead to reduced maintenance costs, as there are fewer mortar joints to deteriorate or require repairs.
In essence, the time and cost savings offered by mechanical fix brick cladding can be a game-changer for construction budgets and timelines, making it an attractive option for a wide range of projects, from large commercial developments to residential renovations.
This newfound efficiency doesn’t compromise on quality or aesthetics, as mechanical brick cladding systems are designed to deliver both cost-effective and visually appealing results.
2. Mechanical Fix Brick Cladding: Fire Rating
One of the main benefits of specifying mechanical fix brick cladding is that it is A1 fire rated.
“Following the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017, RIBA argued for a ban on using combustible materials in the external walls of high-rise buildings.”
This means that any building over 18m in England needs to be A1 fire rated.
It is difficult to achieve this using adhesive fixed systems, and traditional construction can have a negative effect on the project timeline as this method is much slower.
The combination of these factors is the main reason why architects are specifying mechanical fix for large projects.
3. Reduced Weight
The third remarkable benefit of mechanical fix brick cladding, exemplified by systems like “Natural-X” from Ash & Lacy, lies in its ability to significantly reduce the weight of the cladding compared to traditional brick construction methods.
Traditional brick walls can impose significant structural loads on a building. In contrast, mechanical brick cladding utilises brick slips, which are substantially lighter. This places less stress on the underlying structure and foundation, potentially allowing for more design freedom.
As a result of this, handling and transporting brick slips or panels is much easier and less labour-intensive than traditional bricks, reducing the risk of damage during transportation and installation. This, in turn, reduces carbon footprint, which makes mechanical fix cladding a sustainable option.
For example, for construction projects in challenging or hard-to-reach locations, the lightweight nature of mechanical cladding materials simplifies logistics and can lower overall project costs and emissions.
4. Maintenance And Repairs
Mechanical fix brick cladding introduces a notable advantage in terms of maintenance and repairs compared to traditional brickwork.
Here’s how it simplifies these crucial aspects:
Individual Panel Replacement: In mechanical cladding systems, brick slips are attached individually to the substrate. This means that if a section of the cladding becomes damaged or requires maintenance, only the affected slips need to be replaced. There’s no need to dismantle and rebuild entire walls, saving both time and money.
Ease of Access: Because individual slips can be removed without disturbing adjacent ones, access to the building’s envelope for inspections or repairs is straightforward. This facilitates routine maintenance and allows for timely identification and resolution of issues.
Long-Term Durability: Mechanical cladding systems are designed for durability and longevity. The materials used are often weather-resistant and require minimal maintenance over the years, further reducing the need for costly repairs.
Versatile Repair Options: Whether it’s fixing a damaged tile, addressing moisture infiltration, or enhancing insulation, mechanical cladding provides versatile options for addressing various maintenance and repair needs without compromising the integrity of the entire cladding system.
Cost Efficiency: Reduced labour and material costs associated with maintenance and repairs translate into cost savings over the lifespan of the building. This makes mechanical brick cladding a financially prudent choice for property owners.
Energy efficiency is a critical consideration in modern construction, and mechanical fix brick cladding systems contribute significantly to this aspect.
Thermal Insulation: Mechanical brick cladding creates an airspace or cavity between the cladding and the building’s surface. This cavity acts as a thermal barrier, reducing heat transfer between the exterior and interior of the building. It effectively enhances the building’s insulation properties, leading to improved energy efficiency.
Moisture Management: The airspace can also serve as a moisture barrier, preventing water infiltration and protecting the underlying structure. This moisture management feature contributes to the long-term durability and energy efficiency of the building.
Year-Round Comfort: Buildings with mechanical fix brick cladding often exhibit more stable indoor temperatures. They stay cooler in hot weather and warmer in cold weather, reducing the reliance on heating and cooling systems and ultimately lowering energy consumption.
Sustainability: Enhanced energy efficiency reduces a building’s carbon footprint and environmental impact. This aligns with sustainable construction practices and may contribute to green building certifications and incentives.
Energy Cost Savings: Lower energy consumption translates into reduced utility bills, providing ongoing savings for building owners and occupants.
From the remarkable time and cost savings achieved through efficient installation to the unprecedented design flexibility that empowers architects and builders to bring creative visions to life, mechanical brick cladding has proven its worth.
Its ability to reduce the weight of the cladding, simplify maintenance and repairs, and enhance energy efficiency underscores its practicality and sustainability in contemporary construction.
In an era where efficiency, aesthetics, and environmental responsibility are crucial to a successful project, mechanical brick cladding offers a compelling choice. Whether you’re embarking on a new construction project, working alongside Creative Brick Solutions or a similar company, or revitalising an existing structure, this technology not only meets but exceeds the demands of modern construction.
If you would like to discuss the practically of using mechanical fix cladding, and how this can benefit your next project, please get in touch with Creative Brick Solutions.
One of our experts can assist you with your design ideas, how these can benefit the move towards a more sustainable construction industry and find the product that is right for you.
What is mechanical brick cladding, and how does it differ from traditional bricklaying?
Mechanical brick cladding is a construction technique that involves attaching bricks or brick slips to a building’s exterior using mechanical fasteners or adhesive, instead of traditional mortar. It differs from traditional bricklaying, where bricks are laid using mortar to create a structural wall.
Can mechanical brick cladding be used for all types of buildings, including older structures or renovations?
Yes, mechanical brick cladding is adaptable and can be used for a wide range of building types, including older structures and renovation projects. Its reduced weight and ease of installation make it suitable for retrofitting existing buildings without the need for extensive structural modifications.
Is there a significant difference in cost between mechanical brick cladding and traditional bricklaying, considering the various benefits discussed?
The cost difference between mechanical brick cladding and traditional bricklaying can vary depending on factors such as project size, location, and design complexity. While the initial material costs for mechanical cladding might be slightly higher, the overall cost savings often stem from reduced labour, faster installation, and long-term maintenance benefits.
How does mechanical brick cladding impact a building’s insulation and energy efficiency?
Mechanical brick cladding can improve a building’s energy efficiency by creating an airspace or cavity between the cladding and the building’s surface.
Does Mechanical Fix Brick Cladding Adhere To Fire Regulations?
Mechanical fix brick cladding is A1 fire rated. The combination of A1 fire rating and efficient installation makes mechanical fix brick cladding an attractive choice for architects working on large projects.