Is Brick Cladding Fireproof?

Fire safety standards are one of the most important legal codes any building has to meet. After all, no matter how much you try to minimise them, there will always be moderate fire hazards and buildings should be designed to be as fire-resistant as possible. In today’s article, we’ll be talking about brick cladding, fire-resistant building materials, and what you need to know if you’re looking to use brick cladding in your next building project.

Choosing The Right Brick Cladding

Brick cladding is fire-resistant – at least, so long as you choose the right type of cladding. Generally speaking, taller buildings are subject to stronger fire safety standards and this means that when you’re choosing brick cladding you have to be careful to choose the correct material for the height.

There are two reasons for these stricter safety standards. The first is the obvious fact that the taller a building, the more people a fire endangers. The second is that, as fire burns, it climbs, and the higher up you are, the hotter the fire is likely to be. As such, brick cladding nearer the ground doesn’t have to be as resistant as cladding above the 18-metre point.

Why Is Brick Cladding Considered Fire Resistant?

Brick cladding is, as the name suggests, made from bricks which have to be fired in kilns. This process makes the bricks highly resistant to fire.

That being said, the whole purpose of cladding is that it’s a thin outer layer that’s easier and faster to apply and, as such, while the fire resistance of your cladding is vitally important, it’s not the only factor that needs to be considered.

Using Brick Cladding In Conjunction With Other Materials

Because brick cladding is so thin, you need to give a lot of thought to the other materials being used near or around your cladding to ensure that they are also in line with official regulations. Once a building catches fire, the internal heat can rise quite far above the combustion point of any given material as the insulated building locks the heat inside. To this end, if the materials around your cladding aren’t also fire-resistant, there’s only so much the cladding itself can do.
Ultimately though, so long as you buy quality building materials and work with building professionals who know the regulations inside and out, you shouldn’t ever run into trouble using brick cladding. At the end of the day, fireproofing is a holistic discipline, meaning that different parts of the building have to be designed in conjunction to minimise the potential of large fires. Brick cladding is an excellent material but good fireproofing means combining materials to create a more effective end result.

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