Building Technology
exposed brickwork
i am an architecture student and as a part of our design project, we are supposed to design a load bearing structure in alibag, maharashtra, india which falls in the coastal areas. i intend to use exposed brick but am a bit doubtful because this area has heavy rainfall. so can u please suggest me how the exposed brickwork is protected frm rain?
Mangesh Kadu
exposed brickwork
Mangesh, If you mean kiln-fired clay bricks, then "exposed brickwork" has been used in the UK for many centuries, which while it does not have the continual heavy rain of the Moonsoon, there is plenty of rain. So traditional roofs are pitched (have single or double slopes)with overhanging eaves.

Hard-driven rain (rain being driven sideways by the wind) can seep inside through "exposed brickwork" walls, so this is probably where the custom of using double brick walls (with a gap between) came from. Only later was this air gap recognised as having insulative properties and today 2 inch to 3 inch thick panels of fibre-glass insulation are wedged between the double walls.

Traditionally, lime mortar was used to cement the brickwork together, until the rediscovered use of natural cement in the late 17th (?) century.

Regarding the heavy rain of the Monsoon, I would say that pitched roofs with wide overhanging eaves would keep most of the rain away from the "exposed brickwork".
Frank John Snelling
exposed brickwork
Mangesh, Almost forgot, a footnote:-

Please note the kiln-fired clay bricks used in the UK are solid, whereas, I have seen slightly larger hollow fired-clay bricks (similar to fired-clay roof tiles and fired-clay pottery) used in Continental Europe and Turkey.

These hollow "bricks" are much more fragile (will break very easily under sudden impact) than the solid bricks n the UK. On the other hand hollow brick probably have better insulative properties than solid brick, but the mass of the solid brick has better thermal retention properties.
Frank John Snelling
exposed brickwork
I wouldn't be putting any insulation between the skins of cavity brickwork? The purpose of the cavity is to provide a deterrent from driving rain or moisture penetrating into the inner skin and creating dampness inside of the building. That's why there are weep holes at the base of the brickwork to allow for this water to escape. If your project doesn't allow for kiln fired bricks and you are using mud bricks you must give them a waterproof membrane just like you would apply to any render coat.
Mark Engwirda
exposed brickwork
Mark, The norm was no insulation in the cavity between the double brick walls. But as a teenager in the late 1960s, I can recall my parents having (expanding) foam insulation pumped into the cavity. Small holes were drilled at intervals and insulation was pumped in and the holes cemented.

Today, it is standard practice to use thick fibre glass wool panels the cavity between double brick walls. So these fibre glass panels are being used as a waterproof membrane.
Frank John Snelling


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