Bricks have been the most essential construction material and a common building block in the construction world after cement. Until a few years back, no one would have thought anything could possibly replace the most basic building block, but the construction industry started to look towards alternative materials which are cheaper, easily accessible and comply with the requirements. People desired long-term viability and durability, and since people have become more environmentally conscious, hollow blocks have arrived just in time.
Both bricks and blocks have advantages and disadvantages that can help us decide which should be chosen.
Advantages of Concrete Hollow Blocks
- CheaperWhen compared to brick masonry, Hollow Blocks are far less expensive. They are known to cost Rs. 1,500 less per cubic meter than brick masonry. This is not an insignificant distinction. According to reports, the cost of constructing a wall out of AAC blocks is 17.65% less than the cost of constructing a wall out of traditional bricks. Because these blocks are less expensive to construct, they are also easier to make, lowering the cost even further if built on site.
- Made from wasteHollow Blocks do not harm or deplete nature in any way as a result of their creation. They’re made of Fly Ash, which is a waste product from thermal power plants. Red bricks, on the other hand, consume top soil in their creation and manufacturing, depriving nature of its valuable protective layer of soil.
- Lighter in WeightWhen compared to red bricks, hollow blocks are lighter, allowing for greater workability, flexibility, and durability. Their dry density ratio lowers the dead load on structures, making them more efficient and ideal for modern structures.
- Sound ProofingSoundproofing can be a blessing for individuals who live in industrial regions, near busy roads and airports. When compared to brick buildings, concrete block walls have a larger density and hence provide better soundproofing. If your home is continuously surrounded by noise that prevents you from having a good night’s sleep, their effective acoustic insulation is a significant assistance. If you’ve ever lived in Pepsicola near the Tribhuvan International airport, you’ll understand the value of soundproofing.
- Space SavingConcrete blocks are frequently recommended by builders and contractors since they save a significant amount of space overall. The breadth is reduced, but the durability is not compromised.The typical bricks’ 9-inch walls are being phased out, especially in big cities where there is a lot of competition for space.
- StrengthConcrete blocks are believed to be more resistant to earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes, all of which are becoming more common these days. Countries that promote and encourage the use of blocks place a high value on their durability in the face of natural disasters. The manner they’re built adds to their durability and strength.
Disadvantages of Concrete Hollow Blocks
- MaintenanceThe concrete hollow blocks require regular maintenance which increases the running costs of the building making the initial low investment useless
- Low Load Bearing CapacityHollow Blocks have a low load bearing capacity because the total mass of wall decoration materials is reduced, the load-bearing capacity is also reduced.
- PorousHollow Blocks are porous, so there is a high chance of water seepage
- It is very dangerous to hang heavy objects on such walls.
Advantages of Bricks
- Heat Protection in SummerBricks have a higher thermal mass than AAC blocks, which allows them to absorb more heat. During the day, the bricks absorb heat and release it at night. In essence, you have the finest possible option for keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.Days typically require less heat than nights, which is when bricks’ thermal insulation abilities come into play. Bricks are especially useful in the terai region of Nepal, where the climate is hot and the houses need heat absorption to keep cool.
- Eco-friendlyThose of you who condemn the environmental issues of manufacturing red bricks entirely forget that these bricks are manufactured from materials that can be readily recycled and utilized for landfills. Blocks, on the other hand, are a different story.Because they are made of concrete, they are not as recyclable as bricks. All of the renovation work that necessitates the demolition of old structures in order to construct new ones would result in mountains of waste that could not be recycled.
- DurabilityTraditional red bricks are believed to be more durable, and constructions built with them are stronger than hollow block structures. The durability of blocks is also said to last only if they are well maintained, as opposed to bricks, which can stand stiff for years if the construction is done in accordance with the proper methods.
- FireproofBricks are made up of Earthen materials that have been highly compressed.. Because of the extreme compression, there is very little area for combustion to ignite and spread. They have the highest fire safety rating. They can withstand a large, well-developed fire significantly better than a house made of blocks or other materials.
- Free of Maintenance Masonry bricks require almost no upkeep.They don’t require as much care once they’re built as block constructions do from time to time. They have no long-term maintenance costs, whereas block constructions must be maintained after a few years or they may begin to fall apart in areas.
The brick vs. block debate is a tight one, and anyone planning to undertake a construction project will have to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both. However, a lot relies on the builder’s location, cost, and situation. Some people prefer brick masonry projects because they want less upkeep in the long run, even if the cost of construction is more.
On the other hand, some people would prefer lower construction costs and more frequent upgrades to keep the blocks in good repair.