For architectural purposes one of the most popular and successful finishes is a traditional brickwork facing. This type of treatment allows the best of both worlds, since the concrete panels will give the quality, strength; speed and durability associated with precast concrete, and the facing will give the traditional appearance afforded by the vast range of bricks available.
To get the best out of such a system, it is worthwhile spending time to ensure that the details are thought out and well considered. Although simple in principle, there are a few ground rules that should be followed for the best results.
1 Colour – It is best to choose a brick with good uniformity of colour. Although bricks are taken from pallets and mixed in a random order, uniformity minimises the risk of colour steps between panels.
2 Type – It is important that bricks are securely anchored into the panel. The easiest way of doingthis is to use a ‘3 whole’ type, cut as shown. The resulting shape provides an excellent anchor. Solid bricks can be similarly cut to give a dovetail anchor, but frogged bricks should be avoided.
3 Tolerances – The tolerances set out for normal use are not really tight enough for ‘cast-on’ bricks.
Variations in length measured over 24 bricks are between 5235 and 5085, which equates to ±3mm per brick. Most suppliers will however improve on these figures by arrangement. Ideally the bricks should be made with tolerances as shown. Continue reading