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Old 01-09-2013, 07:51 AM   #1
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Bricks Between Studs


Hello. I am in the process of remodeling the basement in my 100 year old house. The walls previously consisted of concrete/cinder block, air gap, and bricks (on the inside wall).

I have taken down the bricks, repaired all the block mortar joints, re-parged the wall, painted with several coats of water block paint (I already waterproofed and took care of grading outside), installed several inches of XPS, and built a stud wall.

I now have a pile of bricks in my back yard and am would like to put the bricks back in the basement, between the studs, and parge the whole thing. This is to get some thermal mass on the correct side of the insulation and to save some money on drywall (I'm not worried in the time involved).

Has anyone done this? Is there anything special I need to do when laying the bricks in each stud cavity? Do I need to somehow attach them to the studs every few rows since they are being installed in such small strips?

Thanks!
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:55 AM   #2
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Bricks Between Studs


Are you interested in making the basement for both heating and AC?

The existing soil and foundation has a tremendous amount of thermal inertia as it currently is. In the winter the soil at "frost depth" is typically at 55F to 60F in the winter.

If you want to condition the space, over insulation and isolation the defeats the thermal mass benefits. Because you are dealing with mass over time, an R-value is really meaningless and defeats the benefits of the real thermal inertia that exists now, since R-values are determined using lightweight samples over a short period of time and do not reflect the real life/seasonal changes. Putting in false walls and insulation decrease the benefits if you AC and use the basement low returns in that conditioned space in the summer to reduce the delta-T of the air supplied to the AC.

Using thermal mass does not go by the "cookie-cutter" prescriptive codes and numbers if you want it to be a benefit.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:48 PM   #3
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Bricks Between Studs


I understand that the high (volumetric/specific) heat capacity of both soil and concrete.

However, if there is a delta t between inside/outside, heat WILL be lost (or absorbed in the summer). More energy will need to be lost for it to actually be noticeable (temperature rise).

As it is now, my basement is arealdy decoupled from the soil temperature. From the outside in: soil, XPS, concrete block, XPS, and soon to be brick.

My entire basement will be able to be heated using 2 solar air heaters in the winter (on sunny days of course). I'd like to start pre-heating the basement in mid to late fall and would like the mass.

What installation method should I employ when installing the bricks?
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:44 PM   #4
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cold runs to hot so whatever is the ambient soil temp outside the foundation will, eventually, be the same inside,,, insulation only slows down the passage of heat,,, the idea of solar gain has some merit but the amortization of the relevant increased costs makes the payback time about as promising as obama-yo-mama calling for more tax cutx

of more concern to me is the term ' waterproofing paint ' as part of our work is basement waterproofing,,, IF there such a duck, we'd endorse using it & have to find other work no pro would ever use it !

regrading outside is always good but proper waterproofing requires excavation to the footer, coating fnd walls, installing a proper toe drain w/either daylight drainage or mechanical discharge ( pump in sump )
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:51 PM   #5
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Bricks Between Studs


Yes, I know the science of thermodynamics.

As stated in the original post, the foundation was waterproofed from the outside. It WAS excavated to below the footings, block mortar joints repaired, re-parged, wall covered with 6 coats of elastomeric liquid "rubber" water proofer, then covered with 1.5" XPS that was covered with mesh and then covered with 6 more coats of elastomeric liquid "rubber" water proofer. Grading and downspouts was also taken care of.

Really, this house has no water problems. It is on the top of a hill and below the first 1.5' of soil is sand and gravel. I only did all that to add the XPS.

The "water block" paint is only one more little extra.

As per the solar air heaters. I have already made them. Each 10'x3'. $150 each. Pay off time should be very short.

Does anyone have any advice regarding the question asked in the original post about laying the bricks? It would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:43 PM   #6
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Bricks Between Studs


Most of the time I skip over threads like this, because honestly, I think the poster is "nuts".......

This time, I can't though, as I find this very interesting, and I think the OP may actually have a ton of good, valuable information to pass on with this "experiment". That, and I just got done painting about 400 beer cans in half of my own home made solar convective heater today............ Not to mention, I greatly appreciate masonry construction, and the greatly overlooked benefits of thermal mass.

So, yes, you can lay the brick between the studs, but why not just lay them on the interior of the stud wall so that the wall can be continuous. Unless you plan on bridging over the studs with lath and plastering the whole thing (maybe you already mentioned this, I could have missed it) you're going to deal with a number of potential issues. One major issue to be concerned with is the weight of the brick and the condition of the subgrade, or footing, below the floor......
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:05 PM   #7
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Bricks Between Studs


Quote:
Originally Posted by jomama45 View Post
So, yes, you can lay the brick between the studs, but why not just lay them on the interior of the stud wall so that the wall can be continuous. Unless you plan on bridging over the studs with lath and plastering the whole thing (maybe you already mentioned this, I could have missed it) you're going to deal with a number of potential issues. One major issue to be concerned with is the weight of the brick and the condition of the subgrade, or footing, below the floor......

Thank you for the reply!

The brick was actually removed from the same area (it was the interior wall covering the block wall) so the weight isn't an issue. I now have a huge stack of bricks in the back yard that I'd like to use, not to mention save a few $ on drywall.

I'd like the brick to be flush with the studs mostly for the electrical box and plumbing (for the washing machine, this is the basement) locations; they're in the standard spots. Also, I don't want to take up anymore space. The house is only 23 x 23 so not much there to begin with.

I should also note that the ceilings are only 6'6" and this wall is sitting on a bench footing so the height of the stacked brick will only be about 3.5' high.

After the bricks are laid, I plan on parging over the whole thing, bricks and wood.

Is there something I can put in the mortar joint every other course of bricks or so to help bind it to the wood? What about a 3" triple coated deck screw only screwed into the stud half way with the other half in the mortar joint? Would that help?

Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:34 AM   #8
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Bricks Between Studs


These are the conventional way to attach brick to studs. Probably need one on each side every 4-5 courses.



Bricks Between Studs-walltie.jpg
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:57 AM   #9
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Awesome, thanks!!
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