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Brick veneer house construction
prestige without the price

If you have lived in a brick house in Australia there?s a high chance it was made using the brick veneer construction technique ? a wood or metal frame to hold up the roof, panelling on the inside walls and a skin of bricks on the outside.

Compared to the traditional double brick house, a brick veneer house is cheaper and faster to build without sacrificing the status of a solid brick house.

The first identifiable brick veneer house was built in Geelong in Victoria 1903, but it was not until about 1930 that the method was considered reliable enough for a bank to approve a building loan.

By 1936 it was recognised as a standard method of house construction. Leading architects designed large and prestigious houses in Melbourne that were built using the technique. By 1950 brick veneer had almost replaced double brick construction in Victoria. The success of the ?project home? in Australia had begun.

In 1993-1994, 67% of new dwellings were built using brick veneer, which was most common in the Australian Capital Territory, South Australia and Victoria. At the end of the century brick veneer was the most popular form of house construction. It had changed the face of Australia?s urban and rural environments.

Who Did It?
Key Organisations
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Further Reading
The history and design of the Australian house, Robert Irving, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1985.

Solid Masonry vs Brick Veneer
Impacts of material use in houses

Brick veneer made house and land packages more affordable and helped create a new Australian suburbia. Photo by Angelique Hutchison.
A brick veneer house under construction. The wood frame is covered by a layer of reflective insulation (blue) and then by the brick veneer. Photo by Angelique Hutchison.
ATSE Powerhouse Museum