Clay Bricks and Hardcore as Construction Materials
The difference in taste, preference, social status and economic ability are some of the factors that affect one’s choice of building material. There are various materials that are available and its necessary for a house owner to make the right choice for the material to use for his house.
Before selecting any material, the owner should consider, the availability of the material, budget, accompanying expenditures, durability as well as the pros and cons of each type of material. In this article, we are going to analyze clay bricks and hardcore as construction materials.
These are hard blocks that are mostly rectangular in shape, that are made by shaping clay and drying them through either a furnace or under the sun to increase the block’s lifespan. Bricks are resistant to harsh weather and are relatively easy to make since the process only involves mixing clay and water then drying.
Advantages of Clay Bricks
Clay brick due to the firing impact lasts for a very long period hence standing the test of time.
- Cost of Maintenance
There will be less expenditure on maintenance since the clay bricks are installed by either stacking or by using the precast cladding panels.
- Beauty Aspect
Bricks are available in various colours as well as thicknesses which offer a variety of designs for use by the owner.
Brick can be reused in different constructions, unlike other construction materials which are only used once.
Bricks can be used for various construction ranging from single-storey, or even large residential and commercial structures.
Bricks are contaminant-free construction material since its only made from clay and water therefore naturally resistant to pests, fire and weathering.
Disadvantages of Clay Bricks
- They Promote Environmental Degradation
The production of clay bricks requires large volumes of soil which are obtained by excavating. These degrade the beauty of the environment and could be dangerous when the pits are left gaping.
- Increased Cost
The weight of the bricks is really large compared to the weight of other construction materials. This is because the structure needs to withstand the greater weight.
- Sound Proof
Due to the minimal air holes on the bricks, sound from the outside cannot be isolated from accessing the inside.
- Low Quality of Colour
When bricks are exposed to direct sunlight over a long period of time, they lose the original color which therefore changes the general outlook.
Hardcore as Construction Materials
Hardcore is the heap of the solid matter mostly the broken-down bits of concrete, stones, among other materials of construction. Generally, hardcore is the solid waste materials from quarries that are used for filling floors of buildings that will bear heavyweight. Hardcore is applied on the ground to a thickness of about 300mm followed by a 150mm layer of concrete. This, however, changes with the increased storeys or the weight expected to be held by a building.
Importance of Hardcore in Construction
Strengthens the base, hardcore allows a compact base on which other construction materials will sit on. This facilitates resistance of pressure for both dead and live load on the ground floor as well as the whole building.
It reduces the cost of construction. If the solid material were replaced with concrete, the cost of construction could be very high. Therefore, for the sake of cost reduction use of hardcore is necessary.
The availability of air spaces that exists between the hardcore system facilitates the restriction of water movement.
The amount of concrete needed for casting is greatly reduced which further reduces the time required for the casting process.