Friday, 14 February 2014


In keeping with our desire to build a passively cooled, low energy house, we have started with a concrete floor, to give us a high thermal mass inside the house. Originally we wanted to build an inverted external brick veneer wall, with the bricks inside.  This went the way of many dreams in the face of the cold reality of budget.  But by then we were in love with the permanence and texture of bricks.  We chose second hand roughies from Paddy's bricks in Kensington, partly because they were cheap, partly because they were recycled, and partly because they look awesome.  Check these out:

Around a third of the bricks have been painted, and some have been drawn on.  Suddenly they have a texture beyond their physical nature, displaying a patina of reds, and pale greens and whites.  But beyond that they have memory.  These are bricks which have seen life, and been a canvas for other people's dreams.  Clearly, some of them are just pictures of genitalia.

The trouble with bricks is that they are a sinkhole for heat.  This is great in the middle of a hot day, because they have held the heat.  But at night they release this heat, both externally and internally.  So in an effort to control and perhaps increase the cooling down of the bricks, we have left every perpend open at each 8th course of bricks.  After the recent belt of hot weather, there is a significant difference in the cooling of the bricks near open perps as the shadows of the day pass over them compared with the normal bricks.  Et voila:

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