Precast + Brick

A collaboration between Nepean, Ont.-based Central Precast Inc. and Hanson Brick has produced an integrated panel design featuring locally produced, 1-in.-thick

A collaboration between Nepean, Ont.-based Central Precast Inc. and Hanson Brick has produced an integrated panel design featuring locally produced, 1-in.-thick clay-brick slices embedded in concrete to create the appearance of brick with about one-third the construction time for institutional, commercial and industrial buildings in Ontario and Quebec. The architectural precast solution is a response to the challenge facing architects and construction managers in Canada of a relatively short construction season: As the brick face slices are set into precast panels fabricated off site in a controlled environment, builders gain freedom from weather delays. Moreover, Hanson Brick officials affirm that its five plants in Ontario and Quebec ensure timely delivery of face slices Û available in any size, dimension, texture or color Û to Central Precast.

Besides offering a local material solution, the producers emphasize, the brick-faced panel provides design flexibility. For the fa¡ade of the Roger Guindon Hall addition under construction at the University of Ottawa, architect David Bull, principal associate with local firm Cuhaci and Associates Inc., chose rectangular Copper Matt (orange-brown) face brick. Above the windows, he alternated square Copper Matt and Sunnydale (yellow) face brick to create an accent and sense of visual rhythm. We used colors to form a pattern in the brick and help it blend with surrounding buildings, Bull explains. The precast product also offered us speed of construction.

With ease of installation, the brick-faced panels allow for a streamlined job site. They especially suit tall buildings that would prove both difficult and time-consuming for traditional site-laid-up masonry, notes Clyde Ellis, commercial business development manager for Hanson Brick. Integrating brick and precast concrete offers the best of both worlds, he emphasizes, the visual interest of clay brick and the strength, ease and economy of precast concrete.


Hanson Brick’s new line of cultured limestone bricks features textured faces and marbled earth tone colors designed to give structures an inviting presence. Product developers explain that the bricks’ distinctive coloring is achieved by marbling a base color (70 percent) with a secondary color (30 percent).

The textured product line includes Cantera, a brown base color mixed with buff; Sedona, a terra cotta base color mixed with light charcoal; Talavera, a brown base color mixed with light charcoal; Catalina, a terra cotta base color mixed with buff and Valenzia, an olive base color mixed with brown. The cored, king-sized bricks comprising the textured product line feature through-the-body coloring that will not fade, the company notes.

The textured bricks are manufactured at Hanson’s Ogden 2 facility near San Antonio, Texas, using limestone from Hanson Aggregates quarries. The limestone is crushed and sifted, eliminating the possibility of pebbles or other materials roughing up the texture. As limestone is bound with cement in fabricating the bricks, their durability is equal to that of clay bricks; accordingly, Hanson covers the cultured limestone brick line with its 101-year Century Plus limited warranty. Additionally, the bricks meet ASTM standards for severe weather rating.

The Ogden 2 facility required no new equipment for the cultured limestone brick product line; however, texture shoes for the molds were introduced for the series.