Clay bricks have been long known to provide warm homes in the winter and cool dwellings during the hot WA summer. A recent study commissioned by Think Brick Australia and conducted by the University of Newcastle* has substantiated that clay bricks offer superior levels of thermal comfort for energy efficient and sustainable design without the aid of artificial heating and cooling.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics Environment Issues: Energy Use & Conservation, Australia 2008 reports that heating and cooling making up more than 30 percent (electricity 35 percent and gas 31 percent) of the average home's energy use.
The University of Newcastle research established that thermal mass, the ability of a material to retain heat energy when subjected to a temperature differential, plays a key role in stabilising temperature swings, keeping the internal temperature in the comfort zone longer. It also showed the performance of walls with internal thermal mass was markedly improved by the inclusion of cavity insulation.
*"A Study of the Thermal Performance of Australian Housing" Think Brick Australia & Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at the University of Newcastle.
An abridged form of the report is available in a Think Brick Australia publication titled "Energy efficiency and the environment - The case for Clay Brick Edition 4"