A new innovative brick is paving the way towards more comfortable, affordable, and sustainable architectural solutions in hot climates. Colombian architects Miguel Niño and Johanna Navarro of Sumart Diseño y Arquitectura SAS designed BT - Bloque Termodisipador (HB - Heatsink Brick), a type of clay brick that helps keep buildings naturally cool through smart design. Made with an irregular shape, the brick’s angled and perforated form not only improves the building’s thermal comfort, but also helps reduce material waste and construction time.
In contrast to standard bricks, the BT – Bloque Termodisipador is five-sided and asymmetrical, with a large angled face that helps protect the brick from solar radiation. The bricks are perforated with a porous cellular structure to allow winds to pass through the bricks and dissipate stored heat.
“With traditional fired clay bricks, heat is transferred in one direction, due to the horizontal surfaces that make up the channels in the bricks, acting as thermal bridges that conduct the heat to the inside at a greater speed,” write the architects. “The horizontal surfaces of the BT – Bloque Termodisipador are interrupted by a series of smaller sub-channels, making it so the path of the heat is longer, and slowing and reducing its entrance inside.” The energy-efficient bricks also have the advantage of reducing noise by breaking up and reflecting sound waves.
Unlike flat bricks, these angled bricks can be stacked in a variety of three-dimensional layouts for greater architectural expression and, because of similar dimensions, can also be combined with traditional clay bricks in wall construction. The BT brick’s built-in groove helps ensure that the same amount of mortar is poured on every brick to minimize waste. Uniformity during the installation process is achieved with the help of a joint spacer, which creates small and mortar-free triangular gaps between bricks to allow air to circulate through.
Images © Camilo Suz