Red, brown, buff…bricks come in all colors we use bricks to construct our buildings. But do we know about them? You may not have really stopped to consider bricks before, but they’re a more fascinating subject than you may have realized. Architecture beta brings some interesting facts about brick ,
1) Heat determines the color of the brick
Modern bricks are typically made by machine, pressing clay into steel moulds after being combined with sand and water and then sliced to create the right size.
However the final color of the brick isn’t due to any dyes added, instead using the temperature of the kiln. As a general rule the higher the temperature whilst the bricks are being fired, the darker the bricks will finally be.
The composition of the clay will also play a part in determining the brick color; those with higher lime content will be paler while red bricks usually have higher iron levels.
2) Bricks have frogs in them
Many bricks have something called a “frog” in them, but this term doesn’t refer to the amphibious creature often seen near ponds.
The indentation in the top of bricks is known as a brick, a term that dates back to when bricks were made by hand in the 1930s. During this time, slop moulds were used which had an indentation in the bottom. This indent was often describing as looking like a crouching frog, and it’s from this bizarre fact that the brick frog took its name.
3) Bricks are a good material to use to prevent house fires
Whilst on their own bricks are not sufficient to prevent a house fire from taking hold and spreading, they’re an excellent material to choose for the construction of your home.
Clay bricks aren’t combustible; if you consider the very high temperatures to which they were exposed in the kiln, a house fire bears little comparison so it’s little surprise. In fact, bricks are so resilient that even after a house fire; they can be used with no compromise to their integral structure.
4) Bricks are energy efficient
In the quest to use materials which are eco-friendly, people often seek out new and innovative materials but bricks are actually one of the most energy efficient options.
Bricks provide warmth in the winter and also help to keep the temperature cool in the summer and combined with the right design structure can prevent extremes of heat and cold occurring inside. Studies have shown that combining insulation with a brick structure, energy bills can be slashed by up to a quarter.
5) There are many different types of brick
You may look at a building and immediately recognise its construction as “brick” but there are in fact many different types of brick, and these fall into different categories.
Some types of brick as more aesthetically pleasing than others, whilst some may have superior waterproofing abilities. In the UK, there are more than 1200 different types of brick with the average home using between 10,000 and 15,000 bricks in its construction.
6) Bricks are permanent
Unlike some other materials, once created, bricks are a permanent piece of a building and won’t degrade over time. You only have to take a look at the Great Wall of China to see how long bricks can withstand the rigours of life without looking the worse for wear.
No maintenance or treatment is required to keep bricks performing well, and they won’t rot, degrade, warp or rust. Despite being exposed to the extremes of the weather, brick continues to provide the intended protection, regardless of its age.
7) Bricks provide a healthier environment in which to live
Brick structures are a far healthier place for humans to live, and not just because of their ability to limit the amount of moisture that enters into a property.
Because bricks don’t need to be painted or treated in any other way, the presence of what is known as VOC’s (volatile organic impounds) is greatly reduced. It also eliminates the potential food source for mould, providing a much better environment in which to breathe, sleep and eat.