The Function of Luxury

Posted on 27 Mar 2019

The phrase “luxury living” can mean something different to everyone. To some, it conjures up thoughts of glam rooms and all-white everything a la Kylie, Khloe and co. For others, it may mean a minimalist interior accented by custom-made pieces, with a story behind each. No matter what “luxury living” means to you, we can all agree that “luxury” is synonymous with features like quality and durability… and so, by rights, there should be no greater luxury than living in a home built in double clay brick.

Double clay brick – where walls are built using two layers (or “leaves”) of clay bricks with a small cavity between them – is the most commonly used construction method in Perth, and has been for almost a century. But why?

For starters, double brick homes are strong and durable. Midland Brick Trade Sales Manager Steve Sutton says that, as bricks are an incredibly hard-wearing material, they are able to take the knocks of everyday life.

“The beauty of clay bricks is that they won’t fade or warp. They won’t get devoured by termites, and they don’t decay or rot like lesser quality, lightweight materials. Plus, bricks are sturdy – so unless you count Thor among your friends, no one is going to be able to put their hand through your wall if they trip into it.”

Bricks are also low maintenance. As opposed to cladding, which requires regular cleaning and sealing, double brick homes require little ongoing upkeep. Less time spent fixing holes in your walls and more time spent relaxing on the weekend? Sounds like a win to us!

Also… remember that small wall cavity between the two leaves of bricks we mentioned earlier? Well, that serves more than one purpose. Apart from stopping moisture transferring from the outer face of your home to its interior, the wall cavity adds another layer of thermal performance to a home built with double clay bricks.

In a University of Newcastle study, bricks were proven to have the ability to retain heat energy when the temperature between the interior and exterior of a building was vastly different. What does that mean? Well, think of it as a built-in layer of insulation.

“The fantastic thermal performance of bricks means that brick homes will be cooler in summer and warmer in winter, as bricks are slow to release heat,” says Steve.

“When you add in further cavity insulation, double brick homes perform better than brick veneer, veneer, and insulated lightweight materials in heating and cooling tests – and the University of Newcastle proved that.”

When it comes to having privacy from your neighbours (and your kids), bricks win again. The density of clay bricks makes for a quieter building compared to lightweight materials like plasterboard. While bricks reduce the volume generated by external noise sources like aircraft and roadways, they also reduce noise between rooms.

As Steve adds with a laugh: “Not having to listen to your kids or grandkids play Big Red Car for the thousandth time? Priceless!”

Lastly, a CSIRO survey of houses in the 1983 Victorian Ash Wednesday fires showed that there is a significantly lower chance of a brick home being destroyed by bushfire – an important consideration in bushfire-prone areas like Western Australia.

Midland Brick has been Western Australia’s leading producer of clay bricks and pavers since 1946. To learn more about the benefits of building in double clay brick, call 13 15 40 or visit one of our four conveniently located retail locations around the Perth metropolitan area.

Photographer: Dion Robeson
Architect: Natalie Miller, Local Architecture

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