The record of clay brick construction in providing sustainable superior quality infrastructure - schools, clinics and houses across South Africa is well evident. This life time cost effectiveness of clay brick infrastructure is underpinned by the proven holistic basket of benefits intrinsic to fired clay and clay brick’s unique propensities to function as an enduring structural and decorative walling element at the same time. Clay brick construction cost benefits coupled with enduring performance attributes presents clay brick in buildings as superior, right and proper for South Africa's unique conditions.
Over the years there had been an on-going stream of Agrément SA certificated Alternative Building systems [ABTs] that have claimed superior performance over clay brick construction, lower construction costs, better life time economies and such like. None of these have yet stood up to the challenge of providing comparable quality infrastructure with equal sustainability attributes, equal all round competence, and heart and soul.
The Clay Brick Association of South Africa takes a closer look at three of the more high profile ABTs that claim superior performance over clay brick construction to try to understand whether there is any substance behind their superior performance claims.