This CPD, brought to you by Ash and Lacy and Construction CPD will cover mechanical brick cladding systems and how they compare with traditional brick masonry construction and will cover:
- What is mechanically fixed brick cladding
- Installing mechanically fixed brick slips
- The creativity that mechanically fixed brick cladding offers
- Specification performance and testing
Bricks are a traditional and attractive building product. They are made from natural materials, are cost-effective and can contribute to the interior comfort of a building. With so many benefits, it’s easy to see why people have been building exterior walls with bricks for thousands of years.
We all know how traditional brickwork works – layers of bricks are stacked on top of one another and held together with mortar. More recently, thinner brick veneers have been used to create decorative features and they are fixed in place using adhesives.
However, both methods have their problems. Traditional bricks are heavy, installation is time consuming and requires dry weather, and mortars and adhesives can fail over time. Due to their weight and potential for failure, traditional bricks and brick façades that rely on adhesives are not suitable for many types of projects, such as high-rise buildings or balconies.
But with modern manufacturing and construction techniques, there is a way to get the look and feel of traditional bricks, but without the drawbacks: mechanical fixing
Mechanically fixed brick cladding differs from traditional brickwork in that it uses a frame to hold thin, lightweight brick slips in place. The result looks just like traditional bricks, but:
- It is lightweight – mechanically fixed brick cladding systems typically weigh around 53 kg/m2, compared to 135 kg/m2 for traditional brick. This means easier and faster installation, and less weight imposed on the building structure.
- It does not rely on mortar or adhesives, making it more reliable over time
- And it is quick to install - and can be installed in wet weather. This helps to ensure installation is kept to timescales, even if outdoor conditions aren’t ideal.
Mechanically fixed cladding is also suitable for use on high rises, balconies and other applications where a reliable attachment is a safety issue.