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BIA: Clay Pavers Strong in 09'

Since 1989, BIA has held the Brick In Architecture Awards, now featuring a Paving & Landscape Architecture Design category. All "Best in Class" winners are featured in a special "Brick In Architecture" insert that appears in Architectural Record. The Cady's Alley redevelopment in Georgetown, a 2008 winner, is a bituminous setting bed on concrete base installation designed by the Landscape Architecture Bureau using bricks from the Glen-Gery Corporation.
Photo courtesy Prakash Patel, (C) Landscape Architecture Bureau and The Brick Industry Association (BIA)
Warming Trends LAF

According to the Brick Industry Association (BIA,) the clay paver market has remained remarkably resilient in recent years. This steadiness is due to the fact that clay pavers are not used just for new home construction, but also home improvement, remodeling and non-residential projects.

The future for clay pavers is extremely positive, as they can provide maximum value to their customers for several reasons.

Extreme Durability and Permanent Color Retention

Clay pavers hold their color permanently. The reason is from natural impurities within the clay, meaning color is consistent throughout the body of the unit and will not fade due to weathering. In comparison, concrete-based products, colored by pigments or dyes, may fade or require application of sealants to maintain their color.

Leading Compressive strength

With an average compressive strength of 14,000 psi, clay pavers are typically stronger than both concrete pavers and poured concrete. Some clay pavers have a compressive strength exceeding 36,000 psi. Moreover, clay pavers are generally resistant to abrasion, stains, de-icing salts, and other elements.

Superior Economic Value

The long-term savings possible is one significant reason why municipalities frequently select clay pavers. Their durability, color retention and outstanding compressive strength minimize maintenance and repair/replacement costs. Clay pavers also offer additional value if recycled, re-used or re-sold at the end of their service life.

Natural Sustainability

Clay pavers can provide multiple benefits to sustainable design. They are made from clay and shale, two of the most abundant natural materials worldwide. The small size, modular nature and minimal packaging of brick result in little on-site construction waste. Pavers are recyclable, thus avoiding the landfill. Flexible or permeable clay pavements can reduce storm water runoff and filter pollutants. Light colored pavers can also reduce the heat island effect by reflecting significant amounts of solar energy.

Design Flexibility

The relatively small size of clay pavers creates a pavement surface with human scale. And the wide color selection makes clay pavers an ideal material to blend with unique designs, bands, borders and panels. Additionally, many bonding patterns can be used when laying clay pavers.

Education Efforts in 09'

BIA's Architectural Outreach and Engineering Services team has written several articles that describe the prevailing installation systems. To find out more information on genuine clay pavers, visit

This site includes the latest technical information, including the Technical Notes 14 Series, a presentation on the municipal use of clay pavers, various case studies, a guide specification, and a list of manufacturers who sell and distribute genuine clay pavers.

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November 22, 2019, 12:30 pm PDT

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