FWPA Building Innovations

Mortarless Brick Veneer

An exterior wall system which uses concrete bricks (75 and 100mm thick) cast in a special shape which provides an overlap between pieces and requires no mortar.  The system can be installed by anyone with basic carpentry skills.  Loads appear to be taken at least partially by the frame (depending on site specific situation) via screw connection of selected rows of bricks.  A metal starter rail and corner pieces are also requisite parts of the system.  In most applications, the existing wall framing structure supports the weight of the bricks, so foundation ledgers are not required, and the system is suitable for retrofitting of existing walls. The manufacturer states that the system provides homeowners with the luxury look of real brick exteriors at a more affordable cost. Thermal insulation characteristics are about the same as common face brick and each unit weighs approximately 1.8 kgs.

Benefits

Fast to install by workers without masonry skills. Different bonds and patterns more easily achievable than with traditional brick. The process is less effected by wet weather and mortar preparation. The brick units could be made by either the brick or roof tile industries. The installed cost is likley to be less than that of conventional brickwork. The system appears strong and durable. The mortarless system removes problems relating to the colour matching of mortar and the purchase of mortar materials. It also negates mortar cracking problems and generally manages footing movement more flexibly, thus also reducing cracking issues.

Limitations

Weight on the frame may be a design issue thus requiring larger member sizes - new tables that account for the extra mass may be needed. Starter strip, corner strip and other accessories may not meet the aesthetic perceptions of consumers - alternative detailing may be required.

Comments

It is currently unclear if a breather layer beteween the bricks and frame will be adequate or if a cavity needs to be formed using battens.

Website

www.novabrik.com

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About FWPA

Forest and Wood Products Australia Limited (FWPA), a not for profit company, is the Australian forestry and wood  products industry’s service provider, investing in research and development, and providing research results and generic promotions to the Australoian industry. FWPA aims to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the Australian forest and wood products industry through innovation, investment in effective and relevant R&D and communication of the results to stakeholders. Read more about FWPA at www.fwpa.com.au

Contact FWPA

Forest and Wood Products Australia
Level 11, 10-16 Queen Street
Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia

Phone: +61 3 9927 3200
Fax: +61 3 9927 3288
Email: info@fwpa.com.au