Brick cladding systems

A significant revolution for brick-faced building has been the development of brick slip and brick tile cladding systems, designed to have the appearance and durability of traditional brickwork, but with a significantly reduced construction time. In one system, external walls are constructed with 215 mm aerated concrete blockwork and faced with an extruded polystyrene insulation panel to which 16 mm brick slips are applied onto the pre-formed grid, giving the appearance of standard external leaf brickwork. The polystyrene grid panels have an overlap to ensure horizontal joints are watertight and are tongued and grooved to interlock vertically. Adhesive is applied to the polystyrene and the brick slips are pushed into place with the appropriate horizontal spacing. Mortar is applied either with a pointing gun or a mortar bag and tooled to the required joint profile. With the use of highly insulating blocks, this type of construction can achieve U-values as low as 0.27 W/m2 K.

An alternative system uses a plastic-coated galvanised steel profile fixed to the structural wall (Fig. 1.18). The specially shaped brick tiles then clip into the steel system with appropriate vertical joint spacing. Mortar (typically a 1 : 1 : 6 mix) is applied with a pointing gun and smoothed off to the required profile, usually bucket-handle. A range of special tiles is manufactured to produce dados,

Fig. 1.17 Preassembled brickwork. Photograph: Courtesy of Trent Concrete Ltd

Fig. 1.18 Brick cladding system. Photograph: Courtesy of Corium, a division of Baggeridge Brick plc

Fig. 1.18 Brick cladding system. Photograph: Courtesy of Corium, a division of Baggeridge Brick plc plinths, cills and external returns, giving the appearance of traditional brickwork. Because the brickwork is non-structural, a range of bond patterns including stack, quarter and diagonal is optional. This type of pre-fabrication offers the potential for increased off-site construction work, and some manufacturers supply pre-formed brick-tile panels ready for fixing on site.

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