Energy Saving Building Product (South Africa)


    Building Dreams
    Providing an energy saving product that not only meets a construction requirement but that can also empower African communities in the form of job creation, skills transfer and provision of quality housing is a pretty tall order.

    However, after four years of development with Structural and Chemical Engineers Ikhaya Brick Technologies (IBT) appears to have accomplished this, with their i-brick modular brick building system. Through the use of specialized IBT Nanomolecular technology the company has created a brick which not only boasts superior durability but also has added benefits allowing the use of vertical and horizontal steel reinforcement. It is also the first completely waterproof stabilised soil brick available.

    Groundbreaking solutions
    According to management at the company, IBT has always been focused on providing ground-breaking building solutions for the sole purpose of social upliftment. “We provide training, qualifying people from local communities with an IBT certificate in either i-brick manufacture or building,” says Nico LeGrange.
    “Upon the completion of large contracts we will sponsor IBT machinery to a group of qualified community members to continue with i-brick manufacture, building of houses, and extensions to current homes. IBT not only plans to create jobs and skills through the i-brick building system but is committed to
    sustainability of these jobs and skills,” he continues.

    Faster and efficient
    The i-brick offers a fast, efficient brick and mortar building system providing face-brick housing at a fraction of the cost, with up to 20% savings compared with traditional systems.
    Depending on the tender a finished house can be built for R1200 per square meter.
    The system utilises unskilled labour and can be manufactured in remote areas using local workers.
    Developed in association with Pan Mixers SA, IBT manufacturing plants are fully portable, allowing for brick
    manufacture on site in remote areas.
    Production can be increased at any point simply by adding additional plants and manufacturing teams.
    Special admixture
    The specially formulated resin mixture
    utilises less cement and water during the
    production process, however the i-Brick
    has a compressive strength of 12,5 to 18
    Mpa, and even after soaking for 48 hours 
    still achieves 12,5 Mpa. Random
    Compressive strength tests are carried out  
    by IBT quality control officials on each
    batch of i-Bricks to ensure they conform to
    industry standards.
    The IBT admixture waterproofs, plasticizes
    and entrains air in dry concrete mixes. It
    improves the final strength, assists in soil
    stabilization and dramatically advances

    the curing properties ie: shrinkage and durability. To ensure 
    success of the system, IBT assists in the start up aggregate
    support service within the territories making sure of required
    quality specifications (for instance, lab tests are done on soil
    The facebrick finish has achieved increased community
    acceptance due to its low maintenance requirements and 
    aesthetically-appealing, high quality finish.
    The bricks also have superior thermalacoustic
    qualities, which is of benefit to
    occupants of homes constructed from this
    material. Ease of building is facilitated by
    the i-Bricks’ uniform size and weight,
    measuring 300mm x 150mm x 100mm
    and weighing about 8,5kg. These bricks
    are easily bonded together with IBT
    Adhesives, with reinforcing bars used at all
    the corners for added quality and
    Ease of building
    Modular fittings and accessories further
    accommodate simple construction. “IBT
    window/door frames and roof beams are
    designed to basically slide into place and
    all electrical conduits and plumbing are
    placed inside the chutes formed by stacking 
    the i-bricks together,” adds Nico.
    “This means that no real skilled labour is
    required. The first spec house was built by
    myself and seven men and women who
    happened to walk past the site.
    “Alternative Building System companies have to spend
    considerable time and money trying to convince local
    communities that their systems will provide quality housing,” he
    concludes. “At IBT community acceptance and empowerment is
    of primary focus. There is no substitute for the quality of the
    product we provide.” Consultants
    Contact Person: Fanie Joubert
    South Africa
    Phone: 082-466-4661
    Fax: 0027-86-5670739

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