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I second the comment above... concrete (and Besser block) both take a huge amount of energy and release a huge amount of CO2 during manufacture. As wall materials by themselves they also offer almost NO insulation value at all. Yes, they do offer themal mass, but themal mass is only useful in regulating interior temperatures and aiding energy efficiency if it is INSIDE an insulated thermal envelope. So concrete, Besser block, double-brick, and even brick veneer are USELESS for improving the energy efficiency of a building unless there is insulation OUTSIDE them. You will get conflicting information from manufacturers of concrete and masonry products but, if you do thorough research you will find that they provide almost no insulation.

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I loved this article however we have a 40 yr old concrete block beach house which also has asbestos internal and some external walls. I hate the blocks (painted) and apart from removing all the asbestos walls (in good condition) I'm trying to find a suitable wall cladding (interior). We have used wall panelling in one room which I'm happy about but I'm wondering if any wallpaper liners would work can anyone help please ? (Limited budget)

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true stone design

In response to HU, I would offer that masonry does offer benefits to energy efficiency and thermal comfort in a building.

Cavity brick does have an insulating function due to the cavity air lock. But energy efficiency is not only about insulation.

A key question is access to sun and shade. In hot climates and summer seasons it’s typically a rule to keep masonry out of the sun. Because once heated imasonry can hold and emit heat into the night.

Reverse masonry veneer may also be an option.

There are many examples of comfortable and energy efficient Cavity Brick and Solid masonry walls.

It is unwise to rush into positive or negative assumptions about materials or methods. How each material is placed, shaded, and combined with other materials is a matter of conscious detailing. Design is key.

The use of concrete (like all materials) invites consideration of LCC - life cycle environmental costs and benefits.

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