School of Engineering & Priority Research Centre For Energy, The University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Historically, housing systems in Australia have been developed using brick veneer or cavity brick walling systems, with economics and aesthetics being the main design criteria. However, there is now an increasing emphasis on the need for housing with effective thermal performance under both summer and winter conditions. As a result, researchers at the University of Newcastle, in collaboration with Think Brick Australia, are involved in a major study of the thermal performance of Australian housing with a view to more effectively using the beneficial effects of thermal mass which is inherent in masonry walling systems. Part of this study has involved the construction of four full scale housing modules using a range of conventional and innovative walling systems and monitoring their thermal performance under various seasonal conditions. One walling system being investigated is “reverse brick veneer”, which is made up of an external timber frame and lightweight external cladding, cavity insulation and an internal non-structural brickwork skin (that is, the direct reverse of conventional brick veneer, the most widely used current form of construction). The potential advantage of this system compared to conventional brick veneer is the internal thermal mass provided by the internal brickwork skin. This paper gives an overview of the study and compares the performance of reverse brick veneer to conventional veneer and cavity wall construction.

Key words
thermal performance; wall; brick veneer; reverse brick veneer