- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 01 Oct 2020
An airbrick is a special type of brick that contains holes to allow the circulation of 'fresh' outside air beneath suspended floors and within cavity walls to prevent moisture building up as a result of cold or damp air ‘sitting’ in voids or empty spaces.
Airbricks have traditionally been manufactured using clay or cast iron. Some modern airbricks are made from plastic which can be more durable and enable a greater rate of airflow. An alternative to airbricks is the use of cast iron grilles, known as air vents.
Airbricks should be located and installed so as to maximise the cross ventilation in the underfloor voids, and should be kept clear of obstructions. A consideration when installing a conservatory is that airbricks on the wall of the house can be blocked by the conservatory structure or by vegetation, earth, and so on. Similar care must be taken when constructing extensions, to ensure that ventilation air paths are not obstructed, or that alternative air paths are provided.
Airbricks can be positioned either above or below the damp proof course (DPC) level, and should ideally be incorporated on all sides of a building, typically at least 75 mm above the ground to prevent water ingress.
A disadvantage of using airbricks is that the small holes can allow pests such as mice, slugs, and wasps to enter a building. A possible solution is to fix wire mesh over the airbricks, or use specially-made airbrick covers, which can prevent entry of pests.
NB Weep holes are openings placed in mortar joints of facing materials at the level of flashing, to permit the escape of moisture, or openings in retaining walls to permit water to escape. For more information see weep holes.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Country moves one step closer to creating independent body.
BSRIA examines factors driving the industry.
Ensuring designs are developed, validated and can be effectively implemented.
The Homebuyer Survey most suitable for newer homes or simple properties.
Health and safety practices for body and mind.
28 leading bodies set out their vision for the future.
Chancellor announces latest Winter Support packages.
Tapping technology to boost infrastructure and create jobs.
4 ways to ensure certificates are valid.
White elephant construction projects.
How Paul Williams bent over backwards to overcome racial barriers.
Organisation revises actions around dealing with COVID-19.
CIOB, NFCC, RIBA, RICS call for changes ahead of Building Safety Bill.
Developments in the Future Homes Standard.