The latest options in clay brick offer increasingly green benefits for more sustainable homes that can help homeowners save on major household costs. From abundant natural resources and manufactured with virtually no waste, brick helps lower energy costs and upkeep through a maintenance-free exterior that offers superior durability, moisture control, termite resistance, proven stability and enduring beauty. Often incorporating recycled content, brick options including exterior, interior and landscaping features increase sustainability while meeting the highest green building criteria.
“As a versatile building material made from abundant natural resources, brick delivers on all fronts,” said Brick Industry Association (BIA) President and CEO Gregg Borchelt, P.E. “Brick’s flexibility and inherent green benefits help builders and architects achieve maximum sustainability and greater homeowner value with reduced environmental impact,” he said.
The latest options for greater sustainability and savings through brick include:
- Buying local: like farm to table, brick is made from local resources that reduce the use of fossil fuels; at least two brick plants are located within 500 miles of 49 of the country’s top 50 metropolitan areas
- Brick exteriors for energy efficiency/savings on fuel bills: brick’s exceptional thermal mass allows it to absorb and store heat to release at a later time, reducing the load on the home’s heating and cooling system
- Interior brick walls as part of passive solar design/energy harvesting: frequently used in net-zero energy homes, brick walls soak up excess solar energy during the day to retain heat and naturally regulate interior temperatures; integrating structural brick walls and flooring throughout the home
- Using salvaged brick: a growing trend among builders, brick is one of the few materials that building codes actually allow to be reused in a building application and keeps materials out of landfill
- Brick landscaping that integrates into natural surroundings: brick patios, archways, garden walls, fountains, pathways, planters and driveways add durable value with low maintenance; light colored pavers can reflect a significant amount of solar energy, reducing the heat island effect
- Brick paver for efficient water management/drainage: permeable brick walkways and pathways help reduce storm water runoff, puddles and filter pollutants/eliminate contaminates
- Low-emitting materials: using brick throughout the house provides wall and floor surfaces that do not require paint or coatings
- No maintenance: no power washing, no repainting, brick’s beauty endures without added materials or labor