‘Building with bricks can save 20% in property costs’

A brick house under construction

Shifting focus to building houses with bricks has the potential of saving the cost of construction of a unit of house by as much as 20 per cent when compared with constructing the save unit with the conventional concrete or sandcrete.

This was disclosed by a housing expert and Chairman of AMIDE Clay Industries (Nig) Ltd, Toyin Adeyinka, in a chat with the media last week, which was organised to herald the unveiling of AMIDE’s 20-million capacity kiln on Tuesday, 12 July, in Ogun State.

Adeyinka, an engineer, insisted that instead of being neglected and treated with disdain, clay, which is the principal raw material for bricks, should be held shoulders-high by the government as natural resource which if well harnessed can help solve the nation’s daunting housing deficit, thus aiding the growth of Nigeria’s revenue.

While identifying overall cost effectiveness as a major advantage brick has over the regular sandcrete (concrete, sand and cement) in house construction, Mr Adeyinka said brick could save a builder about 20 per cent of the total cost of building a house because there would be no need for painting of walls, and that the rate of maintenance of a brick-house is also very low.

“We believe we are on a silent revolution in our own little way to encourage more houses to be built in the country through the use of bricks. The houses built with bricks are not only safer, but they are cheaper and last much longer than those built with concrete. Many of the houses built in Israel, South Africa, Belgium, and Egypt, among others, as well as various institutions in the US and UK are made from bricks and, after centuries, many are still standing till date,” he said.

While listing out some of the advantages of burnt clay bricks, Adetunji, who is also the chairman of Sparklight Group, a real estate and property development company, said clay bricks are known to be very resistant to fire, compared with the conventional concrete ones.

“Burnt clay brick is one of the oldest building materials known to man, which has not lost its glory to any other building material. The burnt clay has a number of advantages over the conventional sandcrete blocks thus making a good substitute if properly used.

It is lighter than sandcrete block wall thus making the imposed load (weight) on the foundation considerably less,” he said.

Also according to him, bricks have  a higher bearing capacity than sandcrete block, and its thermal insulation is higher than other known building materials.

“The conduit for electric wiring and other fittings can be easily laid. Brick has very high acoustic value. It has a high heat resistance thus less vulnerable to fire disaster.

“Clay brick produces a cooling effect that makes it very adaptable for tropical use. It has high aesthetic value if properly laid. The cost of plastering and painting is removed from the external wall. The hollow clay decking pot provides lighter and cost effective structure,” he said.