The mention of the words reverse brick veneer or RBV are usually met with confusion as there is a perception with brick on the inside then plasterboard is exposed externally. To clarify, reverse brick veneer has brick on the internal wall and the external wall is clad in a material such as the fibre cement, timber or even metal sheeting.
Brick is used internally as it has high thermal mass meaning it absorbs and stores heat. Part of a good passive design strategy is having thermal mass located inside a house coupled with appropriate north facing windows. This combination can work to regulate internal house temperatures making the internal environment a comfortable temperature all year round thereby reducing the need to rely on mechanical means for heating and cooling.
It’s important the thermal mass is balanced with adequate glazing and shading. In winter the sun needs to enter so the mass can heat up, store the heat and re-radiate when the temperature drops outside. In summer the glazing needs to be adequately shaded to stop the mass from heating up and maintaining stable interior temperatures.
If brick is not to your liking, you can choose from other materials for mass such as blocks, mud brick, rammed earth or even concrete. The key to fully maximising the benefits of reverse brick veneer include insulating the mass so the thermal benefit is not wasted. Good practice with reverse brick veneer includes leaving a small gap between the internal brick and external insulated skin.
Unlike traditional brick veneer where having brick on the outside means a lot of wasted thermal mass, with reverse brick veneer you can have both a comfortable temperature all year round whilst taking advantage of a material that you can have fun with and is not limited to a paint colour.