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ChumpusRex

Builders Using Fake Bricks

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I had to do a double take today. There's a big block of 'luxury' 'contemporary' 'city-living' 'student' flats going up near me, and I hadn't really paid much attention as it's one of dozens of similar blocks in similar stage of construction in Sheffield.

However, I took the opportunity to check it out close up. I had to double take when I saw that they were using fake bricks!

Basically, the building was a concrete shell. To face the concrete, they basically had what appearaed to be wooden boards, with wafer thin reddy/brown bits stuck onto them, so that it looked like bricks, with slightly recessed cement between them. The builders were simply fitting them up against one another like a jigsaw puzzle, on top of the concrete.

It looks like their use was restricted to the 2nd storey and up, as I'd imagine that if you could see them up close, it would be pretty obvious they were fake.

Was I mistaken? Have builders really cheapened their 'luxury' homes so much? Dire financial problems? Has anyone ever seen anything like this before?

I'll try and get some photos tomorrow - need to get my big lens out.

It has been common for years for some buildings to be covered in what might be described as fake bricks - basically as you describe but usually the quality is such that they look as good as brick and certainly not cheap looking.

These are often put up over cement blocks and when watching a new home being built it is often a good idea to check whether they are putting a real outer skin of bricks around the cement blocks or just these 'tiles'.

However, I have never seen any that looked cheap and most, once a building is complete, are imposible to tell the difference between them and real brick coursework. So I am a tad surprised to find that you say they look 'cheap'.

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*Puts on property developers hat*

"As long as it can resist a stiff wind and no-one notices, who cares?"

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It is known as cladding and forms part of the outside finish of many modern buildings. Fake bricks :lol:

Cladding

It is not the first time cladding has been mistaken for "fake bricks". It is far more expensive per m2 than conventional blockwork.

Edited by BeenieSiegleDesertEagle

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I had to do a double take today. There's a big block of 'luxury' 'contemporary' 'city-living' 'student' flats going up near me, and I hadn't really paid much attention as it's one of dozens of similar blocks in similar stage of construction in Sheffield.

However, I took the opportunity to check it out close up. I had to double take when I saw that they were using fake bricks!

Basically, the building was a concrete shell. To face the concrete, they basically had what appearaed to be wooden boards, with wafer thin reddy/brown bits stuck onto them, so that it looked like bricks, with slightly recessed cement between them. The builders were simply fitting them up against one another like a jigsaw puzzle, on top of the concrete.

It looks like their use was restricted to the 2nd storey and up, as I'd imagine that if you could see them up close, it would be pretty obvious they were fake.

Was I mistaken? Have builders really cheapened their 'luxury' homes so much? Dire financial problems? Has anyone ever seen anything like this before?

I'll try and get some photos tomorrow - need to get my big lens out.

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This is so that when they become slums in the year 2010, the government can simply remove the fake brick and make the buildings look like slums.

There's a pretty twisted logic in that somewhere........... :lol:

It's not enough for people to be poor and live in poor quality housing, they must also be seen to be poor!

Edited by Smell the Fear

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It is known as cladding and forms part of the outside finish of many modern buildings. Fake bricks :lol:

Cladding

It is not the first time cladding has been mistaken for "fake bricks". It is far more expensive per m2 than conventional blockwork.

It is known as a mortgage book and forms part of the asset base of UK banks. Worthless junk :lol:

It's not the first time a mortgage book has been mistaken for "worthless junk". It's much more expensive than worthless junk.

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I wouldn't be surprised...

When I lived on the Isle of Dogs the Pan Peni$$ular had it's siding falling off completed sections half way through construction. Currently, on my daily journey into work, I can now be entertained by observing the scaffolding retreat daily on another tower of slave-boxes. Again, there are one or two places where the scaffolding retreat has exposed curious sections of the tower where "siding" (probably some sort of aluminum sheet) is missing or gone AWOL.

I previously thought baring the windows of these shoe-boxes would go some way to alleviate our prison space shortage but I fear the security and strength of these developments are just not up to scratch.

What a mess... The shanty towns of Rio have better construction...

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Nothing too wrong with cladding that resembles brickwork. The real worry is the amount of WBP chipboard that is being used on newbuild "apartments" (flats to you and me) nowadays. Ok for partitioning indoors or where it is not exposed to the elements but I have noticed an increasing number of newbuilds using this cheap and nasty material on the outside and hoping it will last by spraying it with coating to resemble concrete. In less than ten years it will have to be replaced - presumably the cost will be split between the owners of the flats.

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I'll try and get some photos tomorrow - need to get my big lens out.

In public? :o

What development is this BTW?

*Puts on property developers hat*

"As long as it can resist a stiff wind and no-one notices, who cares?"

Well it is for students, personally I'd put them in stacked rectangular wire cages and feed them bread and water.

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I had to do a double take today. There's a big block of 'luxury' 'contemporary' 'city-living' 'student' flats going up near me, and I hadn't really paid much attention as it's one of dozens of similar blocks in similar stage of construction in Sheffield.

However, I took the opportunity to check it out close up. I had to double take when I saw that they were using fake bricks!

....

Was I mistaken? Have builders really cheapened their 'luxury' homes so much? Dire financial problems? Has anyone ever seen anything like this before?

I was walking past a "luxury" development in Angel the other day. It looked like it had a grand marbled entrance - until you could see one of the marble "stones" was peeling off the wood underneath!

Edit for spelling

Edited by W6W12

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It is known as cladding and forms part of the outside finish of many modern buildings. Fake bricks :lol:

Cladding

It is not the first time cladding has been mistaken for "fake bricks". It is far more expensive per m2 than conventional blockwork.

Just for clarification, as I find it hard to believe that developers are wilfully spending extra money on something of high quality for the benefit of their Customers....

Is that "far more expensive per m2 than conventional blockwork" purely on a materials buying basis, or on a full Activity Based Costing basis? In other words, is it still far more expensive when you factor in the full labour cost of using blockwork (vs the cost of just hanging the cladding) and the opportunity cost of the extra time project time and dependencies needed when using blockwork? The link you reference suggests there's an understandably selfish motivation for using it;

Installation is simple - allowing external cladding and internal works to proceed speedily, early and consecutively

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for process improvement and efficiency (it's part of what I do every day for a living,) but let's not be misled into thinking these guys have the buyers' best interests at heart....

B

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Related to brick cladding many different types of stone 'veneer' is used to cover the outside of prestigious buildings. In theory if it is done correctly it is theoretically perfectly ok.

Then comes the reality.

For example in NZ where i mostly live in an earthquake the outer cladding is 'designed' to come off as the building flexes. That means if you are outside in the big one you are in serious trouble!

Also from time to time this kind of cladding can seriously fail in any area of the world.

I think it was the AXA very high building in Wellington where after marble covering came crashing down from something like 15 floors up they built a fence around the building since there was no way they could fix the the cladding and it had to be removed eventually and since it was falling off anyway..........

Cladding to me seems mysterious. Even here in Finland if you touch dark marble cladding as the sun gets lower in the sky it is more or less too hot to touch. Each expansion and contraction weakens whatever means was used to fix these things to the surface. Sooner or later you have a serious hazard.

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Related to brick cladding many different types of stone 'veneer' is used to cover the outside of prestigious buildings. In theory if it is done correctly it is theoretically perfectly ok.

Then comes the reality.

For example in NZ where i mostly live in an earthquake the outer cladding is 'designed' to come off as the building flexes. That means if you are outside in the big one you are in serious trouble!

Also from time to time this kind of cladding can seriously fail in any area of the world.

I think it was the AXA very high building in Wellington where after marble covering came crashing down from something like 15 floors up they built a fence around the building since there was no way they could fix the the cladding and it had to be removed eventually and since it was falling off anyway..........

13 years ago, when I was living in Wellington, someone told me about a report that calculated that if the "big one" hit, large parts of down town Wellington would be 150cm deep in plate glass from the skyscrapers...and decapitated bodies.

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Just for clarification, as I find it hard to believe that developers are wilfully spending extra money on something of high quality for the benefit of their Customers....

Is that "far more expensive per m2 than conventional blockwork" purely on a materials buying basis, or on a full Activity Based Costing basis? In other words, is it still far more expensive when you factor in the full labour cost of using blockwork (vs the cost of just hanging the cladding) and the opportunity cost of the extra time project time and dependencies needed when using blockwork? The link you reference suggests there's an understandably selfish motivation for using it;

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for process improvement and efficiency (it's part of what I do every day for a living,) but let's not be misled into thinking these guys have the buyers' best interests at heart....

B

Blockwork costs about £50 m2, cladding depending on the specification and the form of the building costs from between £150 - £450 m2. The cost of buying a cladding system per m2 is not particularly high. So if you went off the price per m2 in the suppliers catalogue it appears to be relatively inexpensive (as many a developer has done and got the sums wrong and ended up with the cost more than doubling for a cladding system). However the devil is in the detail and the perimeter treatments for windows, doors and corners etc are very expensive in comparison. So on a large flat surface with few penetrations e.g the side of a warehouse cladding is relatively inexpensive. However on something like luxury apartments flats with many doors, windows it would probably be horrendously expensive. Oh and after 20 - 30 years the building will need surrounding with scaffolding, the old cladding system removing and a new system installing. I doubt many of the people purchasing luxury apartments flats will be aware of the limited lifespan of cladding. Such finishes on buildings are considered "trendy" at the moment and probably fit in with the developers trendy luxury apartment sales blurb super duper lifestyle etc.

Edited by BeenieSiegleDesertEagle

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Brick Slip Cladding

Funnily enough, I was just looking at this yesterday.

With modern construction methods, you can build a weatherproof single skin blockwork house. Insulation can then be hung on the outside and then this cladding added to keep the planners/architects happy. I was looking at various different types - some looked terrible, basically brick slips stuck to wood which is then screwed into the blockwork. The one on the end of the link above looked the best, especially if stainless steel mesh is used. I would mean that facing brickwork could be given a really good finish even if an unskilled worker (such as me) were to do it. It would just take a bit of care with the setting out of the courses.

I think it is a really good idea when you compare the finish you get from this with the finish a lot of modern homes are build with - bricks not mixed properly so you get a patchy effect, pointing not consistent in style or colour, mortar snots left attached to the bricks, damp proofing compromised by mortar snots etc. etc.

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13 years ago, when I was living in Wellington, someone told me about a report that calculated that if the "big one" hit, large parts of down town Wellington would be 150cm deep in plate glass from the skyscrapers...and decapitated bodies.

You then have to factor in the areas of the town that are built on reclaimed land on old beaches and so forth (the remains of plimmers ark of plimmers steps fame was found *under* the *old* BNZ building on Lampton quay and willis). This land will behave like a liquid given sufficent shaking. Also in the public register of older earthquake hazard buildings that anybody can go read in the council offices there are many restaurant buildings and shops (particularly around cuba street) that are guessed to likely fall entirely to the ground in the event of a very large earthquake.

Also even amongst more modern builds supposedly in a big earth quake the lower floors of tall buildings not properly secured to rock will descend down into the earth under the weight of the upper floors or just tilt at crazy angles. So you could be drowned or have to eat dust or just have an interesting experience!

I found even a mild quake at floor 10 to be an unnerving experience. You seem to be going one way and the buildings around you in t'other direction. A friend of mine experienced something different entirely in the san fransico quake. pavement bricks or tiles were as if suspended at knee height while the ground vibrated and shook the ****** out of everything at high frequency and stuff was exploding all over the place. people were screaming attempting to get out of buildings and he was in a door way telling people they would be killed if they went outside. Another friend was in turkey or greece during a mild earthquake while people ran screaming to the outside and he stayed enjoying his beer only to be shocked once it was over that many of the buildings including his pub were badly split and half in danger of falling down! NZ though is pretty well sorted these days.

But hey. Life can be risky anyway.

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You then have to factor in the areas of the town that are built on reclaimed land on old beaches and so forth (the remains of plimmers ark of plimmers steps fame was found *under* the *old* BNZ building on Lampton quay and willis). This land will behave like a liquid given sufficent shaking. Also in the public register of older earthquake hazard buildings that anybody can go read in the council offices there are many restaurant buildings and shops (particularly around cuba street) that are guessed to likely fall entirely to the ground in the event of a very large earthquake.

Also even amongst more modern builds supposedly in a big earth quake the lower floors of tall buildings not properly secured to rock will descend down into the earth under the weight of the upper floors or just tilt at crazy angles. So you could be drowned or have to eat dust or just have an interesting experience!

I found even a mild quake at floor 10 to be an unnerving experience. You seem to be going one way and the buildings around you in t'other direction. A friend of mine experienced something different entirely in the san fransico quake. pavement bricks or tiles were as if suspended at knee height while the ground vibrated and shook the ****** out of everything at high frequency and stuff was exploding all over the place. people were screaming attempting to get out of buildings and he was in a door way telling people they would be killed if they went outside. Another friend was in turkey or greece during a mild earthquake while people ran screaming to the outside and he stayed enjoying his beer only to be shocked once it was over that many of the buildings including his pub were badly split and half in danger of falling down! NZ though is pretty well sorted these days.

But hey. Life can be risky anyway.

I agree about even mild quakes being unnerving, especially when they go on for a while...you sort of wonder if it is the whole show or it is just warming up for the main feature.

Wellington - airport built on land that rose from the sea in the last quake. Road into it from the rest of the country built on major fault line. Harbour likely to be destroyed by the concomitant tsunami. The only way in and out of that place will be by helicopter in my opinion. My then gfs rental property was on temporary stumps (i.e. piles of bricks) on the side of a steep hill and had been so for over a year! Would have been interesting in a big shake.

Such a pity, as otherwise Wellington was a nice place to live, and there are worse things that can happen in NZ. Just look at the crater that is lake Taupo (one big bang) or the chain of explosions from the 1880s that left 23 mile wide lakes and buried the entire North Island a metre deep in mud. All this and not so long ago if one thinks about it. Since the 1950s a lot of population centres have grown massively, and we haven't had (to my knowledge) a really big disaster hit one of them in the anglo world until New Orleans...yet given historical frequency...well, I wouldn't want to be an insurer.

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  • 395 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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