Planning a construction project? Chances are, you’re looking into what building products to consider for your project. At Empower Constriction, we specialize in Hebel installation and are constantly seeking out new and innovative lightweight building products to add to our range. Our passion lies in delivering top-notch services and products to the construction industry in Sydney and throughout NSW. Our team of expert Hebel installers in Sydney and across the state provide you with high-quality solutions that meet your construction needs.
If you’re new to the construction industry you may not have heard about Hebel. Hebel remains one of our favourite products, and for good reason. The benefits of Hebel are vast including quick installation, energy efficiency and high performance. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and dive into Hebel 101. First, we need to address some questions you may have such as: What is Hebel? Why is it so widely used? And the most important question; why might it be the perfect choice for your new project?
So many questions and indeed when you are planning a construction project it is important to consider all options to get the best results. You may be looking for a commercial property, your first home or a family property and therefore it counts to do your research.
So without further delay, let’s get you started on your way to discovering what building material option is best for you. Below we have provided you with everything you need to know about Hebel vs Brick. We discuss the main difference and their benefits to assist you with your decision.
A quick look at Hebel
Before we get started, it is important to understand What is Hebel. In short, Hebel is a strong, versatile and high-performance building product that comes in panel or block form. Manufactured by CSR Hebel in Australia, Hebel is an autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC for short).
Who is CSR?
CSR Hebel is a leading Australian AAC (autoclaved aerated concrete) manufacturer and a trusted name in building products with over 30 years in the game.
What is Hebel made from?
Hebel is made from a mix of natural, raw materials including cement, sand, lime, gypsum, and a small amount of aluminium powder which are combined with water and an expansion agent to produce a “slurry” mixture.
Pictured: Hebel with anti-corrosion steel reinforcement mesh coated with an anti-corrosion protection layer.
Where can I use Hebel?
These strong, versatile and solid Hebel panels are fixed to the frame of your home and assist in the construction of the façade, sides and rear external walls. Hebel is extremely robust and is a fantastic option for attaching weight-bearing external add-ons such as a pergola or shade areas, washing lines or even a basketball hoop.
It is a common misconception that brick is a better option for external structural add-ons than Hebel. However, this is not true as both materials have similar impact resistance. In fact, Hebel’s strength and durability are fortified by the presence of anti-corrosion steel reinforcement. This reinforcement helps to maintain the solidity of Hebel, making it a reliable and robust building material for a range of construction applications.
Benefits of Hebel: What makes Hebel so special?
Hebel is a great building material and comes with a huge range of benefits that makes it stand out. The 10 Hebel benefits include (but are not limited to):
1. Solid and strong: Hebel’s Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (ACC) containing an anti-corrosion steel reinforcement is solid and strong delivering high performance, maximum strength, durability and resilience. Want to find out more? Check out our blog on Why lightweight Is no ‘lightweight’ when it comes to construction.
2. Thermal efficiency: Hebel panels achieve high energy efficiencies for homeowners. They use high thermal mass stores, which reduces energy usage over time. Hebel panels are excellent insulators, keeping homes cool in the height of the Australian summer and warm in the cool of winter. These great thermal efficiencies help you reduce utility bills by relying less on air conditioning or heating units, which in turn is also better the environment. Some cool benefits and hot savings indeed!
Hebel is known for its excellent insulation properties, which can help to keep buildings cooler in summer and warmer in winter. In fact, some experts claim that Hebel can provide up to six times more insulation than brick. Here’s why:
(based on 8.15% Moisture content)
Standard Aus Brick
Hebel has a 77mm thickness with a 0.52 R-value rating, compared to a 110mm brick with a 0.18 thickness and 0.18 R-value. That’s a 2.88 x more R rating than traditional brick which makes a home more energy efficient. Bricks just don’t stack up.
Want to learn more about how Hebel Powerpanels can help with energy efficiency, acoustic capability and construction efficiency? Read how Lightweight Helped Ichijo Create 7 Star Energy Saving Homes.
3. Noise reduction & insulation: Hebel is not only great for improving thermal efficiency but also offers excellent soundproofing and acoustic insulation properties. Its soundproofing capabilities are due to its construction and higher R-rating. Hebel is versatile and can be used in a range of applications, including dual occupancy developments and double-storey home builds. It is particularly useful for homes built near busy motorways, as it provides a practical solution to traffic noise, allowing residents to enjoy their home in comfort and peace.
The Hebel flooring system, Hebel Powerfloor offers a solid flooring solution minimising noise transference from neighbouring rooms and floors. It also adds a fire-resistant layer and can even be installed under timber, carpet or tiles. Hebel Powerfloor is a sound foundation for floor laying and a sound investment.
4. Fire-resistant: This brings us to another great benefit of Hebel; fire resistance. Hebel achieves a high BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) rating and has been tested by CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) to meet and exceed the six BAL categories. This ensures Hebel is an ideal building material for bushfire-prone zones with termite-resistant, non-combustible and fire-resistant properties.
Want to learn more? Check out our blog Fire retardant: just one very important benefit of lightweight building materials.
5. Environmentally friendly: Hebel is made from readily available recyclable raw materials and is economical compared to poured concrete or a traditional rendered finish making it an environmentally friendly product. Made in Australia, it is an environmentally smart choice to help combat Australia’s wild climate. Hebel goes one step further by recycling both the waste generated in the manufacturing process and even the steam it produces.
Hebel is a great option for both your pockets and the environment – and for good reason! With over 30 years of testing, developing, manufacturing and perfecting you are guaranteed high-quality Hebel building products and systems. It goes without saying their fire resistance, soundproofing and thermal efficiency are a strong choice for fast and quality construction throughout Australia.
6. Fast Construction: Building great homes and great construction relationships, Hebel is lightweight, flexible and easy to cut. As one large Hebel panel is equivalent to 75 traditional bricks it’s perfect for fast construction without sacrificing quality. Hebel is a great building product to work with allowing easy handling and quick installation. Hebel doesn’t cut corners but makes it easier to cut holes and chases for electrical and plumbing lines, cutting the time and effort for faster construction.
7. Design flexibility/stylish design: Let’s face it, first impressions count. The street appeal of a home is not only significant for personal satisfaction but also for its potential resale value. The design of homes has progressed with time, and so has house rendering. Popular TV shows such as The Block or Love It or List It Australia shows the shift toward partially or fully rendered houses. In today’s world, bricks may no longer be the preferred choice when it comes to selling, renting or designing a home’s facade. The appearance and overall aesthetic of a house cannot be overstated when attempting to create impact, street presence, and visual interest.
Sure, you can paint or apply render to your bricks, but a Hebel façade has the advantage of a fully rendered, modern, fresh and sleek finish from the get-go. Hebel cladding provides the flexibility to express personal style and is a perfect addition to a house design with a wide range of Dulux colours and show-stopping facade options.
Hebel is the height of style and functionality and is designed to complement other design features such as stunning porch tiles, weatherboard cladding and other external design options. It is a perfect addition to many home designs including contemporary or French provincial elegance, it has a place in any stylish design, adding stunning visual impact and street appeal.
What’s more, if you choose not to render your brick post-construction, it is easier to repaint Hebel than change the brick colour which can help save you the cost of labour and added materials in the long run.
8. Affordability: This brings us to affordability. Hebel is a cost-effective choice for anyone looking to reduce build costs, utility bills and maintenance costs. The old “one standard panel being equivalent to 75 traditional bricks” statement rears its head again, why? Because this makes building and installation quicker. A quicker, easier build equals fewer labour costs. What’s more, Hebel has the added benefit of being a long-lasting, low-maintenance option.
Need some more budgeting stats to add up the benefits? We’ve got you covered.
Brick is typically more expensive than Hebel.A single-story 20-square brick home costs typically between $12,000 to $15,000.
A single-story 20-square Hebel home costs typically between $9,000 to $11,000.
Disclaimer: Statistics are taken from Homely: “How to select the right building materials for your home.” Published 23 May 2016. Source Accessed: 17/03/2023. Cost is subject to build complexity, specs and design.
How is Hebel low maintenance?
As Hebel is long-lasting, an annual low-pressure water blast is all it takes (6 months in coastal areas) to remove dirt and get it looking clean and fresh. Although we do recommend you repaint it every 7 to 10 years, especially with light-coloured Hebel renders.
No weep holes
You will also notice that compared to brick Hebel has no weep holes, where pests such as cockroaches, mice or wasps can get through. There have been many debates on if Hebel is higher or lower maintenance than brick and both have their advantages and disadvantage. For example, Hebel can look dirty after a few years and need painting.
What is brick?
You may already know what brick is but what you might not be aware of is how it’s made. Bricks are made from the minerals found in shale and clay. These minerals are fired in industrial furnaces and are turned into rectangular, uniform blocks of baker clay and secured with mortar. Brick comes in a variety of classic, earthy tones for a classic visual façade style. It’s true, bricks have been used for thousands of years, building the most iconic structures that have endured the test of time. Brick is a classic choice for a builder, used to construct internal and external walls.
Benefits of brick
There is a reason why bricks have been used throughout the generation. Bricks have many advantages including:
1. Durability and resilience: Bricks can withstand the harshest of conditions. They are long-lasting remaining weatherproof with minimal upkeep. Brick is great for North American cold and harsh climatic conditions and is the top choice for properties in cold countries such as England or Wales, UK. Brick is solid and sound, therefore it is a great option for areas fire-prone or cyclone-prone areas. They offer longevity and are termite resistant.
However, it is important to note that installing brick requires using mortar and weep holes that termites and moisture can penetrate.
2. Bricks are low maintenance: As bricks do not contain plant matter, they are pest-resistant and weatherproof, therefore will not need repainting, or resealing from termites and won’t rot fade or decay in hot or humid conditions. However, natural brick is often associated with outdated house designs. Rendering brick creates a more modern façade, therefore people often render their brick post-construction. If rendered, bricks will need to be painted regularly for a fresh look. That is not to say bricks are not great for a traditional style.
3. Classic colours and design flexibility: There is no denying bricks are beautiful with their various earth hues and classic, traditional homely colours. They come in a huge range of textures, colours, intricate detailing and finishes, allowing homeowners to create a home to match their design style.
Bricks can be used in many home designs and building projects and are perfect for mid-century, traditional or industrial chic looks. They come in many different finishes from metallic, and smooth textures to sleek glossy blacks and rough-hewn rustic bricks with a hand-crafted appearance. They are a popular choice offering design flexibility and strong structural capabilities.
4. Fireproof: Just like Hebel, bricks are non-combustible and fireproof. Due to clay being their primary ingredient, bricks ensure a strong building foundation that does not suffer structural damage after a fire. It is important to note, however, that bricks alone do not fireproof a building. With that said, they do not assist in the spread when exposed to bushfires and can help protect combustible household items.
5. Noise Cancelling, thermal properties & energy efficiency: Brick acts as a noise barrier and offers sound and thermal insulation between neighbouring rooms and outside noise.
Bricks are made from high-density material and exceptional thermal mass properties which means they moderate internal temperatures by storing and absorbing heat and then slowly releasing it when necessary. They are heat-efficient and are suited to the Australian climate helping your home stay cool in summer and warm in winter months. A brick’s thermal and energy efficiencies help heighten comfort whilst reducing energy bills and environmental impact.
6. Natural: Bricks are manufactured using naturally occurring materials, predominantly clay and shale. They create virtually no emissions during production and do not contain harsh chemicals or plastics. They can also be recycled.
Hebel vs brick: The better choice
The question of Hebel vs brick has been a hot topic within the construction industry. There’s no denying Aussies love their brick houses but there is also no denying that just because something works it does not mean it’s the best option.
Hebel and brick are both strong options and both have their benefits. They are both durable and strong competitors.
Hebel, however, has all the benefits of brick but is easy and quick to install. They cut the house construction time significantly, cutting the expense of tradies. What’s more, they come pre-rendered cutting both the hassle and cost of rendering brick post-construction. Hebel also has no weep holes compared to bricks that stop pests and moisture from entering your home.
Hebel is an eco-friendly premium building material that offers energy efficiency, flexibility and high performance. It is perfect for soundproofing and is a cost-effective choice.
Sure, brick provides a classic design aesthetic, but Hebel offers a modern, clean look much more suited to today’s market. It is for these reasons experts are choosing Hebel over traditional bricks and mortar.
To us, it is no surprise Hebel is fast taking over from traditional methods, it is one of the most innovative products on the market. Although, brick and Hebel are staples in the construction industry and are both strong options for you to consider.
Summing it up
This article has given you a lot to contemplate when choosing what building product to go with and ultimately, the decision depends on your preferred aesthetic and project specification.
Still have questions? Contact us today.
At Empower construction, we consider the ultimate building material that will deliver the best result for your project and design. We are committed to building strong, cost-efficient and beautiful homes throughout Australia.
We are experts in external wall solutions, with more than 15 years of experience advising on, managing, supplying and installing all types of external wall cladding, facades and finishes.
We work with our clients during the design and planning stages of a project to provide tips and tricks we’ve picked up along the way of Hebel and other lightweight cladding installation. We are residential construction problem solvers and can assist with product selection and specification, compliance, and workflow management (and more) to meet budgets and maximise design outcomes.
We are called Empower for a reason! We are passionate about what we do, and we do it for a great reason. Our purpose is to empower others to achieve while revolutionising the construction industry. This passion is illustrated in our core values; Dedication, Integrity, Adaptability, Teamwork & Faith. This extends to our core business offering; construction!
We are always looking to expand our dedicated team and services!
Servicing our clients is paramount, and ensuring we do that to the best of our ability is always something we endeavour to improve. Our CEO And Founder, Ryan Steyn and site supervisors have successfully delivered hundreds of residential and multi-residential lightweight cladding, rendering and painting projects at Empower Construction over the years. As our services and client base continue to grow so does our team!
Our track record doesn’t lie! We strive for excellence in everything we do. Our dedicated team is comprised of the best possible talent in the industry with over 15 years of specialist experience in Hebel & other lightweight cladding, rendering and painting – we’ll work with you to ensure your project is a success!
We are a one-stop-shop for your external walls, offering a wide range of high-quality lightweight cladding solutions, render, paint and more. As independent specialists, we work with a range of leading suppliers of construction materials. We have a thorough understanding of the characteristics and performance capability of each product and can advise on the best choice or mix of products to deliver the outcome you’re seeking.
Looking for CSR Hebel installation? You’ve come to the right place!
We provide an extensive range of CSR Hebel installation services including, External Walls, Intertenancy Walls, Zero Boundary Walls, Powerfloors, Bush fire-compliant systems, and more.
Still unsure and need more information? We’ve got you covered.
Over the years, we’ve tried and tested new and innovative lightweight building materials, selecting only the highest quality products to add to our range. Our products and services are warranted, code-marked and compliant with Australian standards & building regulations.
We are a solid choice in lightweight cladding.
We take away the headache for our clients, resulting in high-quality, successful, stand-out projects.