CLAY BRICKS already have excellent eco credentials, but Ibstock’s new Ecoterre™ Earth Bricks take sustainability a giant step further, being ideal for eco-buildings needing a reduced carbon footprint and a healthy indoor environment. Using recycled brick clay, the unfired Ecoterre™ Earth Bricks can be incorporated into non-load bearing internal walls; their unique surface indentations ensure excellent adhesion of clay plaster finishes.
Ecoterre™ Earth Bricks have a very low energy input using recycled heat from brick kilns (small carbon footprint), with very low manufacturing waste and very high recyclability. This ensures a low environmental impact over the material’s life cycle. In addition, their high thermal mass helps regulate temperature change; they have a high acoustic insulation value and help to regulate the relative humidity of building’s internal environment and inhibit condensation. As well as extensive testing in the UK, unfired clay bricks have been used in Germany for more than 15 years, showing strong sustained growth as the features have been more widely appreciated.
Benefits identified from a low humidity environment in a building can include reductions in the dust mites that can cause asthma, fewer moulds that can produce toxic spores and lower bacterial disease transmission. The thermal performance reported from test buildings and construction also showed better than pre-calculated U-values.
The Ibstock Ecoterre™ Earth Bricks are finished with a unique keyed face for an excellent bond with plaster or mortar. They are easy to handle on site, and are available in two sizes - 67mm (standard) and 133 mm (large) high - both are 105 mm deep by 220mm long.
“There are a number of ways that Ecoterre™ can make a significant difference to a building,” comments Andrew Halstead-Smith, Marketing Manager for Ibstock Brick. “It can certainly contribute to a low carbon footprint. However its benefits in thermal regulation are important, while its contribution to a healthier internal environment through humidity control is very significant. A recent test house project funded by the DTI Partners in Innovation Programme has demonstrated many advantages.”
“The UK has some of the highest rates of asthma in the world. Recent research recommends keeping the relative humidity to below 60% as it deters the dust mites that are implicated. At this level mould growth can also be avoided; mould spores can be carcinogenic or toxic. Because Ecoterre™ can be plastered and mortared in the normal way, it can be treated as part of a normal non-load bearing internal wall and an integral part of the building while benefiting the internal environment.”
Halstead-Smith continues, “As a timeless classic, brick is able to reinvent itself as a 21st century building material and has ably demonstrated its adaptability through its incorporation in to many new forms of cladding. It remains the people’s material of choice for the built environment and is clearly poised to meet the sustainable building challenges of the future head on.”