Eurobrick was first to introduce a comprehensively designed brick slip cladding system to the UK nearly 30 years ago, and has supplied many different kinds of residential housing projects since. These days, increasing numbers of projects are delivered using modern methods of construction but brick remains a popular finish, particularly in British architecture. This can raise questions about the best way to achieve a brick finish without hampering the many benefits of modern construction. But Eurobrick offer a number of flexible brick slip cladding solutions, that can fulfill the needs of any residential project.
The off-site construction and modular sectors have long recognised the benefits of brick slip cladding compared to traditional brickwork. Without doubt, ease and speed of installation is a major benefit. Eurobrick’s systems are robust enough to be installed off-site and withstand the stresses of being lifted, transported to site on the back of a lorry and craned into position. A modular building that can be delivered to site without requiring substantial finishing works to the exterior helps reduce on-site operations which can be costly, are subject to other scheduled site activities or delays and can be at the mercy of the weather.
The systems are lightweight, compared to traditional brickwork, and are easy to handle and cut to size. In a controlled factory environment, an installer should be able to install at least 1m² per hour. Only semi-skilled labour is needed, so with the skills shortage in the construction industry, reducing dependency on traditional skilled labour is also a benefit.
Eurobrick’s systems can be installed both on- or off-site and are suitable for both new-build or retrofit projects. The wide range of brick slips now available allows for matching finishes to existing structures, or keeping in style with other housing in a local area. A new build development on Leighton Road in London, recently took advantage of this. Two new buildings linked by a courtyard provide a mix of apartments, maisonettes and duplexes, along with a commercial office space. Eurobrick supplied their X-Clad system for the project and brick slips were sourced to fit in with the surrounding area, providing an attractive contemporary design.
Eurobrick’s X-Clad system also allows for adding layers of insulation from 17-100mm thick which can help to meet the U-Value targets of a project and provide benefits to existing housing stock that needs updating or suffers from poor insulation. The Cotton Exchange in London is a good example of this. This project involved the conversion and redevelopment of a dilapidated warehouse into thirty four loft style apartments. X-Clad was used to provide insulation to the older property and the building has been given a new lease of life.
If space is at a premium, building upwards is also achievable with Eurobrick. The systems are lightweight and do not require the foundations associated with traditional masonry. When adding extra floors, the low weight can simplify design and reduce engineering costs. Norwood Road is an interesting example of this type of project. A residential development where existing floors above a ground floor retail unit were demolished in order to build nine new apartments above the store below. This was particularly challenging, as the store was to remain trading during construction. Eurobrick’s P-Clad system helped to minimize disruption.
As well as providing a flexible finish, brick slip cladding is durable too. It weathers and ages like conventional brickwork and requires little to no maintenance. Eurobrick systems are guaranteed for 25 years and have been independently tested and certified by the British Board of Agrément (BBA) and are LABC (Local Authority Building Control) registered.
There are many advantages to brick slip cladding, most notably the aesthetic advantage of achieving a real brick finish without compromising on speed of delivery, giving it a firm place in the future of modern construction.
For more information on Eurobrick, please visit www.eurobrick.co.uk. Eurobrick also has a showroom at its Bristol office which is open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.