WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CONCRETE MASONRY?
DIVERSE RANGE OF STRENGTH OFFERINGS TO SUIT STRUCTURAL AND NON -STRUCTURAL APPLICATIONS
The ability to offer suitable, cost effective solutions for any design requirement. There is no need to over-specify or add unnecessary costs to the design since we can offer the appropriate specification as required by the design. Design efficiency allows for cost savings in structural materials which can then be utilized for enhanced aesthetic features.
Concrete masonry is probably the most versatile masonry product available. It offers the designer a rich variety of dimensions and aspect ratios. For facing (non-plastered) units there is a choice of texture and colour to offer enhanced architectural design options.
Concrete masonry is naturally energy efficient, the secret being in its mass. The thermal mass of concrete slows down the passage of heat moving through a wall and allows the masonry structure to absorb heat instead of passing it through to the inside of the building, keeping the inside cool. As the wall is cooled by nightfall, the absorbed heat is released, gradually warming the inside. Likewise, this thermal barrier helps to keep a concrete masonry structure warmer in the winter months. This effect of ensuring that buildings stay warm in winter and cool in summer lessens the need for artificial climate control and therefore wasted energy. From manufacture to transport to construction, concrete masonry is modest in its energy needs and generous in its payback.
The use of concrete masonry also benefits the environment and promotes sustainable building practice. Not only is our high quality concrete masonry fully recyclable, but we also use recycled high quality crushed aggregate, from demolished reinforced concrete structures, in the manufacture of our products. This has major advantages in terms of lessening environmental impact and gives rise to a truly green building product. Concrete masonry manufactured using recycled crushed aggregate (RCA) has possibly the lowest embodied energy of any masonry product available in the Western Cape today. An independent study by the University of Witwatersrand, demonstrated that Cape Brick concrete products contained roughly ¼ of the embodied energy of comparative clay bricks and ½ the embodied energy of comparative concrete bricks.
Typically, the purchase price of concrete masonry is 10%-15% cheaper per 1000 units than clay masonry. Added to this, the per square meter cost of larger masonry units (blocks) offers significant additional savings in mortar and labour costs.
Concrete masonry is dimensionally accurate unlike most ROK (Run of Kiln) clay masonry products. This means contractors can work to line on both wall sides, reducing waste, improving plaster efficiency, gaining cost savings and achieving a greater final quality wall finish.
Concrete masonry is a highly suitable material for attenuating noise as it is extremely dense, which reduces the transmission of airborne sound. Resistance to sound transmission increases with wall thickness and mass.
CONTROL JOINT SPACING
Walling of whatever type is subject to some degree of movement. Clay masonry expands over a long period of time whereas concrete masonry contracts. Both masonry types are equally subject to movement and require control joints to manage this movement. Cape Brick, using the most technically advanced curing system, ensures only properly cured products are supplied, meaning that in terms of international standards, no bed joint reinforcement is required in wall lengths of up to 8 meters or as specified. Mortar quality and correct application of the designed control joints (see the separate page on control joints) is critical in ensuring the final wall quality.
Concrete masonry is fire resistant and meets the National Building regulations.
AVAILABILITY THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
The winter rainfall is a much lamented fact of building in the Western Cape, and often leads to a shortage of clay masonry products. Cape Brick, due to our manufacturing and curing process, is not impacted by the weather and our products are readily available.
Concrete masonry is a durable material, proven to withstand the intended lifecycle of designed structures
Due to our advanced curing process and the use of slag, our products are highly durable and designed to withstand the most aggressive environmental conditions. Our extremely low water absorption characteristics (around 4% compared to typical clay bricks which are 10%-12%) ensure resistance to salt attack and other chemical ingress which could compromise lesser quality masonry.