Brickwork or Blockwork in Green Buildings

Green BuildingsBrickwork or Blockwork are the simplest units on the basis of which buildings are constructed. In Indian building construction, the predominant dimension of brickwork is 250 mm thk bricks with 12.7 mm of plaster on each sides. The thermal conductivity (U) of such construction is 1.98 W/m K. This is in fact the most commonly used construction practice in modern day construction in India. But gradually, the architects are realizing the necessity of having improved brickwork or blockwork construction with lesser thermal conductivity so as to have high thermal resistance and low thermal conductivity.

As a result, builders and architects are resorting to using insulation on either on one side or on both the sides to reduce the thermal conductivity of brickwork construction.  The 250 mm brickwork with insulation and 12.7 mm plaster on both sides when used in cold climate or warm & dry climate can significantly reduce the thermal conductivity (U) values.

Brickwork or BlockworkOn the other hand Blockwork made of concrete can be Dense, Lightweight and Aerated.  Dense concrete block has thermal conductivity: 0.70 – 1.28 W/mK, Lightweight Blockwork has thermal conductivity typically in  0.25 – 0.60 W/mK and Aerated Blockwork has typical thermal conductivity: 0.09 – 0.20 W/mK.  Compared to regular brickwork without insulation, the thermal conductivity is very less in Lightweight and Aerated Blockwork.  With proper selection of constructionmaterials, one can achieve pretty high degree of Energy Savings in the Green Buildings.

There are other alternatives nowadays which limit the carbon footprint of the materials used in the construction of buildings and at the same time offer high thermal resistance. Some of the examples of such blockwork are Honeycomb Clay Block, Insulated Concrete form blocks, unfired clay blocks and Flyash concrete blocks.

Energy Modelling of Green Buildings can be employed to predict or evaluate relative behavior of materials used in the construction.  The Heating and Cooling can significantly come down on use of proper blockwork in construction.

Similarly, when we sit down to evaluate the relative thermal conductivity of Glass in vertical fenestration, it is quite well evident that single glaze with thickness of 6 mm gives thermal conductivity in the range of 6.17 W/m2K while a double glaze can have thermal conductivity varying from 3.3 to 0.4 W/m2K.



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