Benefits of building with block
Concrete is an extremely durable material. Concrete block is one of the most practical and cost-effective home building materials. There's no rotting or warping. There are less expensive maintenance or upkeep requirements than with a timber home. Your home retains its appeal and value.
Concrete block is an extremely flexible building material. Whether building a one story or three story home, concrete block gives you the flexibility to do just about anything you want, with such options as columns, arches, high ceilings and tall windows.
Concrete block homes are more energy efficient than timber homes. The thermal mass of block acts as a reservoir to trap and store heat, so interiors stay cooler longer. In winter the same thermal mass releases the stored heat, helping the home stay warm. This makes a significant difference not only to your comfort but also to your electricity costs, as more than 30% of the average home's energy use is from heating and cooling.
Concrete block walls are also more airtight, and therefore efficient, than timber framed walls, sealing in already cooled or heated air.
The thermal mass effect, also allows Concrete block homes to be designed with less insulation, reducing material costs.
Concrete block is a non-combustible material. The fire protection benefits of concrete masonry are well recognised the Fire Service and the insurance industry.
Termites don't eat concrete.
A full concrete block home, with a steel roof frame, on a concrete slab that has built to Australian Standards, will have all its structural elements fully termite resistant.
Concrete block masonry is an ideal sound barrier, providing reduced sound transmission relative to the size of the wall making life quieter and more pleasant. By adding insulation to the block's internal cavities, the reduction in noise is even greater.
Benefits of Building with Brick
Brick is one of the most cost effective methods of building.
Bricks are an incredibly strong and durable building material, hard-wearing and extremely weather resistant.
They won't rot or decay, twist or warp or fade. They don't require sealing, painting or preserving to maintain their inbuilt durability.
Apart from the occasional clean, bricks require virtually no maintenance.
They do not require any refinishing to maintain performance as painted materials do.
This eliminates most on-going maintenance costs, an important factor when looking at the "whole-of-life" cost of a building.
A well-designed full brick home delivers many benefits, including maximum thermal mass. Thermal mass acts as a heat battery during summer, absorbing heat and keeping the house comfortable. In winter the same thermal mass releases the stored heat, helping the home stay warm.
This can make a difference not only to comfort but also to your electricity costs. This is significant considering that more than 30% of the average home's energy use is from heating and cooling.
Compared to lighter weight construction materials, the density of brick reduces external and internal noise, making life quieter and more pleasant. Building in cavity brick and adding insulation between the layers of brick, this reduction in noise is even greater.
If you are designing and constructing your home in a bushfire-prone area, there are many things to take into consideration to increase the home's survival chances if exposed to bushfire.
CSIRO studies of Victoria's 1983 Ash Wednesday fires showed that masonry walls significantly reduce the chance of a house being destroyed by bushfire.
Termites don't eat bricks.
A full brick home, with a steel roof frame, on a concrete slab that has built to Australian Standards, will have all its structural elements fully termite resistant.
As we seek to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions as well as cut the running costs of our homes, sustainably designed and built homes will be way of the future.
Heating and cooling count for the largest energy costs of an average Australian house built using common methods.
By building in full brick and incorporating thermal mass into your home's design you can reduce the need for artificial heating and cooling by harnessing stored energy.
Bricks don't require painting, eliminating unnecessary chemical production, last indefinitely and can be fully recycled.