Fun Activities

On The Job

Houses & Buildings - BRICKLAYER  



"The Block"  - Budgeting for Bricks

MiddleMiddle  High SchoolSecondary

NumeracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Numeracy

Australian Curriculum Cross Curriculum Priorities: Sustainability Priority



1. Congratulations! You have been selected to participate in this year's season of The Block!

The Block

Your first challenge has two parts, you must first find out how many bricks you need to order to build your new feature wall, then you need to work out what brick to use for this wall and find the cost.

 The overall budget is $250K but this room is only one of 15 rooms even though it is the loungeroom. The feature wall will be luxurious!

If an average brick measures 76 mm high x 230 mm long x 110 mm wide, how many bricks will be needed to complete a wall of 3.66 m high and 7 m long?

2. Your choices of bricks for this wall are:

Common burnt clay brick- $1.50 each

- Formed by pressing into molds, then are dried and fired in a kin
- Used in general work with no special attractive appearances
Clay Bricks
Sand Lime Bricks - $1.85 each
- These bricks can offer advantages over clay bricks such as their colour is greyish instead of the usual red, their shape is uniform and has a much smoother finish and these bricks have good strength.
Sand Lime Bricks
Concrete Bricks - $1.70 each

- Solid concrete so very heavy
- Used for looks – not as strong as clay bricks
- Usually used for fences and facades
- Colour of brick can be tailored to suit purpose by pigmenting the cement
Concrete bricks
Mud Bricks - $3.00 each

- These bricks are sustainably created.
- They are an interesting internal feature and retain the heat and coolness of the room. This feature lowers electricity bills in the long term.

Their dimensions are 375x200x130 for internal walls.

Allow for the cost of limil added to the mortar mix at the rate of eight to one. USE NO CEMENT. Allow one bag of limil for approximately three square metres of wall area.

The cost of limil or Hydrated Lime is $17.20 for a 20kg bag.

3. Amount of Mortar required

According to Cement Australia, you will need 70 x20kg bags of mortar for the first three types of bricks (Mud Bricks - where added limil is required as well) allowing 10% wastage. You can buy Mortar Mix for $8.50 for a 20kg bag.

The standard thickness of a mortar joint is 10mm. Do you need to recalculate the number of bricks?

4. Which brick did you choose and why? How much will it cost to buy enough of these bricks for the whole wall? What is the cost of the mortar? What is the overall cost?

You need to remember that "The feature wall will be luxurious!" Is your wall luxurious?

Also, what amount of the $250K is remaining for the rest of the building?


The Bricklayer's Lament - Made Real?

PrimaryPrimary MiddleMiddle  High SchoolSecondary

Australian Curriculum General Capability: Critical and creative thinking
Personal and social capability
Australian Curriculum General Capability: Personal and social capability
Australian Curriculum General Capability: Literacy

1. In pairs, listen to the following two comedy sketches or songs:

YouTube: "The Bricklayer's Lament" - by Gerard Hoffnung

You need to listen to this audio tape.


Paddy's Song (The Bricklayer's Lament)
- similar to the audio tape above
Paddy's Song)

"Dear sir, I write this note to you to tell you of my plight,
For at the time of writing it, I'm not a pretty sight;
My body is all black and blue, my face a deathly grey,
And I write this note to say why I am not at work today.

While working on the fourteenth floor some bricks I had to clear,
But tossing them down from such a height, was not a good idea;
The foreman wasn't very pleased, he is an awkward sod,
And he said I had to cart them down the ladders in me hod.

Well clearing all these bricks by hand, it was so very slow,
So I hoisted up a barrel and secured a rope below.
But in me haste to do the job, I was too blind to see,
That a barrel full of building bricks was heavier than me.

And so when I untied the rope, the barrel fell like lead,
And clinging tightly to the rope, I started up instead.
I shot up like a rocket, and to my dismay I found
That halfway up I met the bloody barrel coming down.

Well, the barrel broke me shoulder as to the ground it sped,
And when I reached the top, I banged the pulley with me head.
But I clung on tightly, numb with shock, from this almighty blow,
While the barrel spilled out half its bricks some fourteen floors below.

Now when these bricks had fallen from the barrel to the floor,
I then outweighed the barrel and so started down once more.
But I clung on tightly to the rope, me body wracked with pain,
And halfway down I met the bloody barrel once again.

The force of this collision halfway down the office block,
Caused multiple abrasions and a nasty case of shock,
But I clung on tightly to the rope as I fell towards the ground,
And I landed on the broken bricks the barrel had scattered round.

Well as I lay there on the floor I thought I'd passed the worst,
But the barrel hit the pulley wheel, and then the bottom burst.
A shower of bricks rained down on me; I didn't have a hope.
As I lay there bleeding on the ground I let go the bloody rope.

The barrel now being heavier, it started down once more.
It landed right across me as I lay there on the floor.
It broke three ribs and my left arm, and I can only say,
I hope you'll understand why I am not at work today."

YouTube: The Corries - The Bricklayer's Song

 2. Look at the essence of the song/sketch and what parts you find funny!

Keep the paragraphs that you both enjoyed and write a song about getting out of work as a Bricklayer today with a humourous twist similar to the Bricklayer's Lament.


Write your own music

3. Share your song with others in the class. Record your song!

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