Belgium House

A striking zero carbon family home in Belgium has been clad entirely in clay plain tiles from Marley Eternit to give character to the minimalist design, meeting the planning requirement for a brick look but offering a long lasting and high performance technical solution.  The clay facade forms part of the lightweight thin wall construction, adding to the thermal properties whilst maximising the internal living space.

Award-winning low carbon architects BLAF specified the Marley Eternit Hawkins and Acme single camber clay plain tiles in grey blue and red for the distinctively shaped self build property in Sint-Amendsberg, which needed to meet tough energy efficiency criteria.

The timber framed passive house also had to comply with strict planning requirements that dictated the facade should be made of brick.  However, planners agreed that the Acme and Hawkins clay tiles could be used instead as they gave a similar appearance, yet also met the client’s technical and sustainability requirements, which included the need for additional space from a thinner wall, allowing for improved insulation and a greater living area. 

Steve Bryceson, technical manager from Marley Eternit, explains: “In this striking family home, where the roof has become the facade, the blend of Acme and Hawkins clay plain tiles is a perfect alternative to the brick finish originally dictated by planning, adding character and warmth to the design and giving contrast to the clean lines.   Both the natural material and colour blend of the tiles are very similar to the appearance of brick but offer a more cost effective option because they are cheaper than a fully self supporting brick facade and offer additional technical benefits.

“Using clay plain tiles vertically in this way isn’t just a cost effective and attractive cladding. The tiles have a high longevity, reducing the whole life building maintenance costs.  As well as looking the part, when used for vertical tiling, clay plain tiles also provide excellent weatherproofing properties.  Installation is not depending on weather conditions on-site for mortar mixing with brickwork, so the build can be completed faster to get to a weather-tight exterior, meaning that internal works can be started earlier. Work can also be completed by the roofer without the need for additional contractors on site.”

The Acme single camber and Hawkins clay plain tile ranges offer a wide range of colours to give design flexibility and help comply with planning requirements.  With a 30 degree minimum pitch for greater design flexibility, advances in clay technology mean the tiles are now an affordable option for any roofing or vertical tiling project.

Marley Eternit’s range of clay tiles also offers impressive environmental credentials including the ability to achieve an A+ rating in the BRE Green Guide to Specification, BES 6001 Responsible Sourcing accreditation and certified carbon footprint data at product level.

Please click here to download the latest clay plain tile brochure or to see more images of this inspirational project, please visit our case study section.

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