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Did you know in 1871 the Great Chicago Fire destroyed over 20,000 structures in a single day? Chicago Mayor Joseph Medill, of the “Fireproof Party”, delivered strong words during his inaugural address a few months after the tragedy and declared that “the outside walls and roof of every building, to be hereafter erected within the limits of Chicago, should be composed of materials as incombustible as brick, stone, iron, concrete or slate.”
According to the Brick Industry Association (BIA), brick homes offer a one hour fire rating and will resist wind blown penetration of a wood 2x4 at up to 80 mph.
On the other hand according to the BIA, vinyl siding cannot provide one hour fire resistance by itself. It can emit potentially harmful fumes when burned, and 2x4 goes through vinyl at just 34 mph.
Brick veneer with 2x4 wood studs at 16 inches on center and a one-inch air space with R-13 batt insulation is 14.4.
Brick veneer with 2x4 wood studs at 16 inches on center and a one-inch air space with a one inch XPS (R-5) and R-13 batt insulation is 19.4.
Brick graded as SW (as indicated in ASTM C216) stands for Severe Weathering - Grade SW (Severe Weathering). Brick intended for use where high resistance to damage caused by cyclic freezing is desired.
All of the face brick IBC sells meets or exceeds the SW grade.