BRICKS BY SHAPES

In the history of professional construction practices, brick is one of the oldest of all building materials. It is also arguably the most durable since there are brick walls, foundations, pillars, and road surfaces constructed thousands of years ago that are still intact. Today, bricks are most often used for wall construction, especially as an ornamental outer wall surface.

Brick Defined

Officially, the term brick is used to denote a building unit made of shaped clay, but in modern times it is used to refer to any stone- or clay-based building unit that is joined with cementitious mortar when used in construction. Typically, bricks are about 4 wide, 8 inches long, with a variety of thicknesses. Larger stone- or clay-based building units of the type used in foundations are usually called blocks.

How Bricks Are Categorized

There are several ways that brick can be categorized. For example, you can divide brick into the types used for facing (exposed and visible on the exterior of a structure) vs. backing bricks (which are used structurally and are hidden from view)Another means of categorizing brick is according to how they are manufactured: unfired (brick that is air-cured) and fired (brick that is baked in ovens to harden it). Bricks can be also categorized according to their typical use: common bricks or engineering bricks. For purposes of residential construction, it is usually common bricks that are of most interest, since engineering bricks are more often used in civil engineering projects, such as road or bridge construction, or sewers construction.

Bricks can also be categorized according to their shape. Some common shapes include:

  • Brick veneers: These bricks are thin and used for surface cladding.
  • Airbricks: These bricks contain large holes to circulate air and lessen weight. They are used on suspended floors and cavity walls.
  • Perforated bricks: These bricks contain many cylindrical holes drilled throughout the brick. They are very light in weight. 
  • Bullnose brick: These are bricks moulded with round angles.
  • Paving bricks: These bricks contain a good amount of iron. They are used in underfoot paving applications.
  • Capping bricks: These bricks are used to cap the tops of freestanding walls. 
  • Hollow bricks: About one-third of the weight of the normal bricks, these are used mostly in partition walls where load-bearing is not required.

The African hut

A hut is a building of a lower quality than a house (durable, well-built dwelling) but higher quality than a shelter (place of refuge or safety) such as a tent and is used as temporary or seasonal shelter or in primitive societies as a permanent dwelling.

The hut in the 21st century

Although huts still exist in poor, mostly rural Africa, one could safely argue that they are a thing of the past; that these structures have been overtaken by technology and modernization. However, due to their benefits, like natural air conditioning, serenity and tranquility, the hut has found its way into the modern age.

Huts are not only environmentally friendly but also economically sound. A grass-thatched house is cool and when you drink water kept in a pot, it is as cold as water from the fridge,

The re-emergence of the hut stems from the increasing temperature in Africa due to global warming. In order to attract clients, hotels and luxury pubs have adopted a grass-thatched style for their cottages and bars. Huts are very comfortable. This is mainly because of the building materials used. Both clay and grass are good insulators, but they are porous and allow a free flow of air.

It is often very hot during the afternoons in Africa. The hut remains cool and is a welcome resting place. At night, when temperatures fall, the hut retains its daytime temperature, keeping the inhabitants warm.

The question of whether the re-appearance of huts in Africa and beyond is a positive development or a sign of Africans not letting go of their “primitive” past is indeed a question that can be debated.


Automatic Sliding Doors

Automatic sliding doors are designed with attractive framing and sleek styles to complement any entry. Glass sliding doors are ideal when it comes to unobstructed views and allowing natural light into a building.

Where possible for building entrances, use automatic sliding doors activated by a motion detector. These doors also provide an audible cue for people impacted by blindness to the presence of the entrance. Automatic sliding doors don’t impede traffic flow in any way, don’t require guardrails for protection (as automatic non-sliding doors do) and are universally accessible.

If there’s an emergency or power loss, it should be possible to open automatic sliding doors in the direction of exit using a manual force of 66 N or less.

Overhead motion activated sensors are preferred over floor-pad door activation sensors, as the floor-pads are prone to malfunction in winter. If floor-pad door activation sensors are used, they should be installed with the surface of the pad no more than 13 mm above the surrounding ground surface.

If push buttons are used for automatic swing-type doors, each button should open only one door. Push buttons should never open both leaves of a pair of doors. A person should be able to open or stop an automatic swing-type door with a force of 66 N or less.

Where used, push-button or push-plate activated power door operators should be consistently located at all entrances. They should be colour contrasted to the background environment to enhance visibility for people impacted by blindness. Position push buttons/plates so that the opening door doesn’t hit the person opening the door or their guide dog.

Characteristics and Advantages

(1) Automatic sliding door mechanism are available in either single sliding, bi-parting or telescopic configurations.

(2)Modularization design to make installation and adjust more easy;

(3)Adaptable to all types of door frames;

(4)Motor power control system with automatic reversal for user safety;

Automatic Sliding Door System using:

1) 10mm Toughened (Tempered) Frameless Glass Door with Logo Design on Door

2) 5mm Aluminium Framed Glass Door

* Door sizes can be customized

More Powerful

Three roller carriage ensure the door can’t derail from the profile.

European installation design promise its smooth and stable operating.

Rubber damping-washer, advanced synchronous toothed belt and alloy guide roller make sure there is few noise when it works.

Hands free operation is actuated by sensor activation or other automatic activation.

The various operating modes  “ Lock, Exist Only, Permanent Open, Half Open, Automatic” can be selected via remote activation ( remote controller).

Unique design remote controller.

When you don’t need to use remote controller, you can power off to increase its working life

Safe Operation

Safety beam sensor protection

Auto-reverse when it meets obstruction. The impact force is less than 67N.

Easy to open by hand after power fails.

It can open at least 80% within 3s after activation by activators if opening width is up to 2000mm.

Battery works after power fails. Door open and keep open or works normally with battery power.

Fuse protection


African Security Dogs

As a continent, Africa is home to so many different types of terrain. The area has mountains, deserts, plains, and more. As a result, the many African dog breeds are uniquely suited to the countries that they come from. Some dogs have no hair to stay cool in the hear. They are tan in color to blend into the surroundings. Some have long legs to hunt gazelles.

Many of the world's oldest dogs come from Africa, with one breed believed to be from 7000 BC. Ancient versions of today's modern dogs were even used by pharaohs in Egypt as companions and hunting dogs. That's the big thing with breeds from African countries — they are pretty much all hunting dogs or guard dogs to keep owners safe from lions and hyenas, rid of rodents, and stocked with food from their hunts. This differs from say, Chinese dog breeds, which were often used as sleeve warmers or companions for royals versus working, hunting dogs.

Throughout history, the idea of domesticating a dog has always been associated with protection. Even in modern times, dogs are still in the upfront when it comes to guarding their owners against unwanted people and animals. However, there are specific breeds that are favored for the sole purpose of offering protection due to their unique characteristics. The best guard dogs bear a unique type of temperament and physical strength that is needed to ward off intruders.

A guard dog is a brilliant addition to any establishment. The presence of these dogs reduces any chances of any burglary activity. The best guard dogs require experts in dog training to help heighten their guarding skills. More so, when buying a guard dog for a home environment, homeowners have to train them for a smooth transitioning into their homes.

Which is the best guard dog? The question of who is the best guard dog in the world depends on the preference of the owner. However, dog experts consider the Bullmastiff, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, and Doberman dogs as the best guard dogs in the world.

What is the best guard dog for a family? Dogs are considered man’s best companions due to their loving nature towards their owners. Do dogs really protect their owners? Yes, guard dogs are really protective of their owners. The guard dogs mentioned above are among the best guard dogs breeds in the world and particularly in Africa.


SOUTH AFRICAN BURNT BRICKS IN Nigeria

The South African bricks does not require any form of polishing to gloss it or any superficial sealant as the brick material has attractive sheen on its own without adding any extra polish on it. 
South African brick tiles are veneer burnt bricks made from the fry ash technology of brick manufacturing, then sliced into thin brick tiles and thereafter fired in large hot kilns or ovens. Many builders and home owners in Nigeria make use of the South African brick tiles for both interior and exterior wall decorations where the bricks are cladded on the wall with adhesive mortars to give buildings aesthetic look and feel. Each piece of South African brick tile measures 220mm in length by 70mm in width with a thickness of about 9mm.

South African bricks are sometimes referred to as burnt bricks, burnt red bricks or fired bricks here in Nigeria. This is because of it's burnt feel and appearance. The final colors of the south African bricks depend on the type of iron pigment additive added to the fly ash mixture during the bricks manufacturing process. The colors of South African bricks in Nigeria include Shiraz which is very dark coffee brown, merlot which is also dark brown, duet, burnt jasper, ivory, satin and the rest are all lighter shades of south African bricks.

Many builders buy South African bricks in Nigeria usually because of the natural burnt feel it comes with and the resultant aesthetic look it yields on the building wall. This does not mean that using south African bricks is an automatic transfer of aesthetics on any building it is used on. You need to plan out the portions of the building where to lay the south African bricks for best effects.

PRICE OF SOUTH AFRICAN BRICKS IN NIGERIA

The price of South African bricks ranges from N6,200 per carton to N6,500 per carton where one carton gives one square meter of bricks when installed with a consistent gap of 12mm in between the bricks and each carton contains 50 to 52 pieces of individual brick tiles depending on how the company packages it from South African. The price of south African bricks given above does not include installation or transportation costs to your building site, brick installers in Lagos usually charge between N900 to N1,000 per square meter for brick installations or brick laying within Lagos per square meter.


Office trees

Trees not only provide beautiful imagery and fond memories, they also enable the momentary escape for building inhabitants who spend most of their waking lives indoors, shut off from nature. Trees are synonymous with life and belong in the workplace as much as laptops and desks. Studies have shown that by having abundant plant life in the office, employees are more productive and less stressed.

It is hard to envision a more soothing and impressive sight than a three-story tree next to a winding staircase in a corporate lobby. The impact is immediate. In the workplace, office trees offer needed color and life to an otherwise dull expanse of wasted space. They evoke joyful memories of yesteryear and all the wonders of nature. There are a wonderful variety of tree species that will thrive indoors.

  • Ficus trees such as a weeping fig or the Indian rubber plant, are but two of more than 800 species of ficus. They are tropical trees that are durable and thrive indoors with minimal TLC. They are excellent natural filters of indoor pollutants and are simultaneously easy on the eyes as well as the lungs.
  • Large Palm Trees like the Mediterranean Fan Palm can reach a height of 15 feet. It’s a compact clump forming palm that is as aesthetically pleasing and rugged enough for indoor planting or as a potted gem.
  • Bamboo Trees can grow to a height of 16 to 20 feet and are ideal for indoors as they are resistant to dry environments as long as proper care is taken. they favor shade and their leaves vary from gray and green to cream and green. Bamboo trees provide cover and privacy particularly in shopping malls and other indoor places where people tend to gather.

The benefits of indoor trees

Trees in the office remove indoor pollution naturally. Plant life can also lower heating and cooling costs. Trees moderate the climate while improving air quality. Leaves filter the air that we breathe by removing dust and other particulates, while giving off oxygen. An EPA study in Chicago showed that the 23.2% of canopy cover in the Lincoln Park neighborhood annually filters 43.9 tons of particulate matter, 14 tons of carbon dioxide and 12.4 tons of nitrogen oxides, leading to an estimated pollution abatement of $625,000 per year. 

Trees and plants in the office are used to reduce background noise. Research has shown that plants can also reduce background noise levels by up to 5 decibels. Through absorption, diffraction and reflection of background noise, trees and other plants in the office create a more comfortable and quiet work environment. Greenery placed in the corners and along the edges is the best way to maximize noise absorption.

The numerous benefits of office trees and other indoor trees include complimenting other features of a building, cleaning the air of toxins, reducing noise, providing a soothing effect to occupants while increasing the value of the property and ROI (Return On Interior).


Electric Fencing

Electric fences are designed to create an electrical circuit when touched by a person or animal. A component called a power energizer converts power into a brief high voltage pulse. One terminal of the power energizer releases an electrical pulse along a connected bare wire about once per second.

Building a good electric fence is like anything else, you get out what you put in. If you use the proper equipment and maintain the fence the result will be a permanent structure just like the barb wire you use to use. The advantage of using ‘electric’ or ‘high tensile’ fences is on average they cost less than a barb wire fence, since less materials are required (ie posts, staples and wire) and they take less time to install. The electric fence option is also more versatile; you can take it down quickly and re-install somewhere else. 

HOW DOES THE SOLAR ELECTRIC FENCE SYSTEM WORK?

When an animal or human being comes into contact with the electric Fence, they receive a sharp, short, painful but safe electric shock. The shock does not cause any physical damage. The electric fence acts as a strong psychological barrier as any intruder will avoid coming into contact with the electric Fence once they experience the shock. After a period of conditioning, the mere presence of the fence acts as an effective barrier even if it is not powered ‘ON’. Electric fence can be made to detect a fault on the fence like shorting or cutting of the wire due to tampering on the fence with the Alarm system.

SPECIAL FEATURES OF THE SOLAR ELECTRIC FENCE SYSTEM

Electric Fence can be built alongside existing fences except in case of barbed wire fences.

  • Existing posts can be made use of provided the corner / end poles are strong.
  • The shock does not physically harm animals or human beings.
  • The Solar Electric Fence System conforms to National and international Standards.
  • The Solar Energizers are approved by ETDC, Govt. of India

ADVANTAGES OVER CONVENTIONAL FENCES

The major advantages of Electric Fences over traditional fences are:

  • Fence posts are erected 6 – 8 mts apart depending upon the terrain.
  • No barbed wires are used. Only plain High tensile (Strong) wire is used.
  • A long life as the fence is not subjected to physical pressures of wear and tear.
  • Selective barriers possible. For example, Elephant barriers can be designed to allow smaller animals like cattle to move in and or out.
  • It is used in more than 165 countries all over the world.
  • It is the most effective method of fencing, and is safe to all kinds of animals and to human beings.
  • It is easily constructed and maintained.
  • It is long lasting and can be modified, extended, shifted and re-erected from one place to another, without loss of materials and waste of labour.
  • This is the only method of fencing, which can effectively keep all kinds of wild animals out.
  • It is not dependent on regular electricity supply as it operates on battery.

Equipment and Installation Recommendations and Tips

Fencer/Energizer

All equipment should be purchased from a reputable company, thus ensuring good materials that will be backed by your supplier. When purchasing the energizer you should think ‘bigger is better.’ Meaning, purchase a fencer that is a little bigger than your requirements. This will allow for ensuring enough voltage is flowing through the wire to deal with brush and wet grass taking some of the power and for future expansions. A basic rule of thumb is you need no less than 2000 volts in the summer and 4000 volts in the winter due to thicker hair coats on the livestock and you usually do not get a proper ground because of snow.

Tips

  • Install fencer where rodents can not chew on the wires (preferably in a building)
  • Install a lightening diverter

Temporary Fencing

Electrified, high tensile wire can be used as an economical, easily install and portal fencing option.  his option provides producers with flexibility in rotational grazing systems to divide up paddocks and feed options during periods of drought. Equipment recommended for this type of fencing includes a reel with wire (temporary wore should have at least 6 wires in the tape to carry enough power) and step-in posts.

Dont's of Electric Fencing

  • Do not power barb wire.
  • Do not use barb wire on gates.
  • Do not use your gate wire to transfer power from one side of the brace to the other.
  • Do not leave your fence tight over winter; the wire will contract and pull your braces out of line.
  • Do not overtighten your wire when installing - just take out the slack.
  • Do not turn cattle out into a strange pasture or with cattle that have not been trained to electric fence. It is not a physical barrier and they will run through it.
  • Do not run electric wire in conjunction with barb wire.
  • Do not use copper wire to connect ground rods to fencer because they corrode.
  • Do not tighten high tensile wire if it has been kinked. It will break. Tie proper knots to reconnect.
  • Do not use low quality/power robbing supplies - you WILL replace it ALL over time and will not be HAPPY.

Troubleshooting

The most common problem with electric fence is low voltage. This could be due to one or more of the following problems.

  • Vegetation/trees on the wire.
    Solution: Ensure fence is free from debris
  • Missing and/or poor quality insulator
    Solution: Check insulators and replace missing and/or poor quality
  • Inadequate grounding
    Solution: Add more ground rods or replace corroded ground rods
  • Low battery in solar system
    Solution: Charge or replace battery or replace solar panel with a larger one
  • Too small of a fencer/energizer
    Solution: Buy a larger fence

Living in a thatched House

Advantages of living in a thatched House

Most thatched homes tend to be very old and this often means that they have large gardens and are built in excellent locations. The reason for this is that, due to their age, there were many good places to choose to build such properties. Often thatched properties are found near to a natural water supply and are on sheltered, slightly sloping land which gives good drainage and, thus, reduces problems with damp.

The thick straw or reed roofing provides excellent natural soundproofing from overhead aircraft as well as road traffic nearby. Likewise, it gives great insulation meaning that the thatched home remains cool in summer but warm in winter, helping to keep fuel costs low. The smaller windows that are normally to be found on such a property also contribute towards this insulating effect.

Due to their age, thatched houses usually have very thick, solid walls which are advantageous over modern cavity filled walls. In summer the heat from the outside travels very slowly to the inside ensuring that the temperature within remains cool.

The weatherproof thatch on the roof can withstand very strong, even gale force, winds and is very rarely prone to leaking. Leaks are usually caused by one of the wooden spars that are used in the ridge becoming broken and sometimes, after a spell of dry, warm weather the thatch may open slightly and then leak when it rains, however this is self-healing as the thatch will close again naturally.

Disadvantages of living in a thatched House

Due to their age and sometimes remote locations, not all thatched properties will be connected to a mains water or sewerage supply. Instead, water may be drawn from a nearby private or shared well, and either a cesspit or septic tank may be used for sewerage. Cesspits need frequent emptying, therefore a septic tank is preferable as they do not require as much attention as long as they are well below the ground level of the house and have good draining soil surrounding them. Also as a consequence of their remote location, thatched homes may not have any nearby street lighting and it may be necessary to install outside lights on the property.

Due to the old, solid walls and base and the lack of any damp proofing in such properties, the interior walls may suffer from damp caused by moisture rising from ground level.

In wet weather rain tends to cascade down the roof and falls in a constant stream around the entire perimeter of the house (it is unusual to find guttering on a thatched house) which continues for a time even after the rain has ceased. The rain splashing on to the ground can be the cause of mud spots forming on the exterior of the house and may cause green mould growth too. However, this is easily remedied by cleaning with a bleach solution.

The materials used in the thatch mean that the roof is at threat of attacks by birds that are nesting or are looking for insects. Holes may appear in the thatch and should be repaired as soon as possible as, left unrepaired, the birds will concentrate on these areas and the holes will become much larger. Most bird damage to roofs tends to be under the eaves or at the junction of the chimney and the roof. Some roofs have wire netting in these places to prevent this occurring, whilst others are completely covered by wire netting. Unfortunately, roofs that are totally covered by wire netting are often subject to higher insurance premiums as there will be the added difficulty of pulling the wire netting off in the event of a fire. This will delay the fire from being extinguished and result in more widespread fire damage.

Although thatched properties are no more likely to catch fire than regular homes, when a fire does break out the damage will be much more significant as fire spreads more rapidly in thatch. For this reason, insurance premiums will be higher. However as mentioned earlier, if you ask us at Highhouse insurance to quote for your thatched property , we will do our best to save you money.

It can be seen that whilst there are disadvantages of living in a thatched house, these are relatively minor and the advantages of living in such a charming and unique home may outweigh them.


Choosing Brick Wallpaper

Factors to Consider When Choosing Brick Wallpaper

Here are some few things you to need to pay attention to when selecting brick wallpaper for your interior design:

The very first thing that you will need to consider when selecting brick wallpapers for your interior design is your space. Depending on your preferences, you will need to go for the right wall so that your rooms can pop to their full potential. It is critical for you to consider the space so as to select the best possible location for your brick wallpaper application. This will help you tie the room together seamlessly.

Speaking of your space, another important thing that you need to consider is the layout of the room. If your room has a shape similar to that of a cone-head, it will be hard to erect a brick wallpaper. In addition to this, you should also take into consideration other pieces of art that might consume all space required for your wallpaper. In simple terms, if you are only able to see 15% of your brick wallpaper, is it worth having it on your wall?

  • What do you want to make standout

What do you want to achieve with your brick wallpaper interior design? Brick style wallpaper can be installed in a dining room so as to highlight a china filled armoire or wooden table. In your living, you can apply brick effect wallpaper so as to emphasize the look of your leather sofa and other décor pieces you have. Additionally, you could also install brick wallpaper so as to boost the look of your office or fireplace, at home.

To get the best possible appeal out of a brick wallpaper design, ensure that you install it on surfaces that are undisturbed by doors or windows. Also, note that different rooms require a different wallpaper design and style. For instance, a brick wallpaper bedroom design should be moisture-resistant while a kitchen wallpaper ought to be stainless and washable.


Brick Wallpaper

Benefits of Brick Wallpaper

There are numerous benefits that a brick wallpaper will have over a normal brick wall. A modern brick wallpaper is a fascinating alternative, which offers a similar emotional and physical connection. It can be referred to a transformational tool and a great step in interior design. Furthermore, with a contemporary brick wallpaper, the installation process is quite quick and easy. Due to this, you can end up saving a lot of labor and maintenance costs, plus other important resources.

Here are some other great advantages of having a brick wallpaper over any other kind of wall decoration.

  • Brick Wallpaper is Durable

Brick wallpaper is quite long lasting and can also withstand conditions in high traffic areas, and wear and tear from kids. While it might require some extra knowledge to apply perfectly, a good brick wallpaper is made to last for over 10 years.

  • It is Perfect for Hiding Imperfections

In case you want to hide imperfections in your wall such as when it is cracked, uneven, or damaged, brick wallpaper can be of great benefit to you. Brick wallpaper is able to go several steps further than any other wallpaper due to its great ability to disguise flaws. Therefore, erecting a brick wallpaper can consume lesser time and resources than having to fix all imperfections on your wall.