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The Most Durable Building Material, Brick Masonry in Wilmette and Nearby Regions Requires Little Maintenance

Wilmette, Glenview, and Winnetka are all part of one of America’s greenest cities, Chicago.  Building structures with lower operating costs and enhanced indoor environmental quality are extremely attractive to a fast-growing group of corporate, commercial, and private sector buyers. Building performance is increasingly on the minds of those who are looking for a new space, whether that’s to buy or rent. Brick masonry remains one of the most sustainable and durable building materials worldwide. When considering the sustainability of masonry, it is important to appraise its life cycle from a few perspectives. These may range from energy efficiency, recycling options, fossil fuel usage, effect on habitats, ozone depletion, water consumption, general human health, and others.

With an average lifespan of a century, bricks have a tremendous advantage over vinyl’s 50 years, or wood, which can last about 20-25 years. According to the Brick Institute of America, brick manufacturers have dramatically reduced the energy needed to produce bricks down to 1,239 BTU per pound, where it used to be approximately 4,000 BTU per pound, which is significant in the world of masonry.

There is very little waste in the production of bricks, as they are recyclable.  A pound of clay material yields nearly a pound of brick after the water is extracted. Any material remaining during the manufacturing process can simply be mixed into the next batch of bricks. Once in play on the construction site, brick debris is easily incorporated into the landscape or worked into other projects by the masonry contractors throughout the Chicago area, including Glenview, Winnetka, and Wilmette.

The materials needed to produce bricks are abundant all over the globe, making them readily available. The Brick Institute of America notes that most brick is manufactured using materials that are on average only 15 miles away from the production facility, making bricks a very local product for masonry contractors to use. There are at least two manufacturing facilities situated within 500 miles of 49 of the 50 largest metropolitan cities in the United States.

Brick walls are meant to be heavy and dense, so they can absorb external heat and slow its transfer through to the interior. This moderates temperature fluctuations, limiting heat intake through the summer and capturing it over the winter. This “lag time” makes bricks a unique construction material that tuckpointing and masonry contractors favor.

 

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