Facebrick – The First Choice


Corobrik’s face brick range was carefully selected as the ideal product for the construction of the Thengwe Secondary School maths centre in Mutale, Limpopo.

Funded by the Anglo American Chairman’s Fund, the 1200m2 cen­tre has been built using Corobrik’s Wolkberg Honey Satin face bricks, chosen to match the existing school infrastructure. The project, which was contracted to Bedrock Construction and Consulting, was completed in March 2017.

The secondary school is in high demand because of its dedication to the pupils which has seen a matric pass rate of more than 85% since 1987. And, despite a capacity for 1 200 pupils, the school has more than 2 000 enrolled, because of the area’s dire need for such quality education. To meet this need, construction of the maths’ centre – a new building adjacent to the existing school began in 2014.

Unnecessary noise

Musa Shangase, Corobrik’s Commercial Director, says that face brick is often the first choice for school projects. “Our clay face brick is well-suited to the school environment. We want the school buildings to inspire heightened levels of enthusiasm for learning, to instill a passion for academics.”

With such large classroom numbers, it is essential that the product reduce unnecessary noise ensuring that the pupils could get the most out of a school day in a peaceful work environment.

Commenting on the construction, Craig Hohls of East Coast Architects, adds, “In a school environ­ment, there is a need for robust, low maintenance materials to handle the traffic of learners and the school equipment. The existing school has shown the resilience and reliability of face brick in this context. Face brick also looks good for a long pe­riod of time and has colour, texture, and variation creating a visual interest.”

High traffic

While constructing the centre, Craig says a variety of passive design features were used including so­lar shading, natural light, and ventilation as well as thermal mass and insulation. To reduce costs and boost the local economy, local labour and materials were used. For environmental sustainability, rainwater harvesting was incorporated into the design along with green roofs and intelligent lighting.

“Corobrik’s Tuscan Blend paver was used as nosing for stairs and pathways,” explains Craig. “When it comes to protecting the edge of a stair or surface bed, bullnose pavers are one of the most effective as they are able to take constant high traffic better than other finishes.”

According to Musa, clay face brick, and pavers, overall, respond well to harsh conditions, both cli­matically and occupationally, which often makes them the preferred choice for projects such as these.

Musa Shangase
Tel: (011) 871-8600