Brick is one of the oldest building materials out there, and still remains one of the top choices for architects and designers looking to create a building exterior or styled interior room rich with traditional and classic elements.

But though the end result of using brick leads to a pleasing design aesthetic for building facades, the material itself no longer provides a structural benefit and can have a lot of drawbacks, like weight, cost, and installation time. So, West Warwick, R.I.-based Dryvit Systems, a manufacturer of exterior insulation and finishes, designed NewBrick, a lightweight insulated brick product that looks and feels just like the brick we all know, but is lighter, faster to install, and more energy efficient.

“For architects, brick has always been one of the top choices in cladding because building owners love its classic appearance,” said Winford “Buck” Lindsay, FAIA, a principal of the Atlanta-based architectural firm of Lindsay Pope Brayfield Clifford & Associates. “Yet traditional brick presents challenges when specified in taller buildings because of its heavy weight, which requires additional structural components to safely anchor brick to the upper floors of a building’s exterior.”

The NewBrick product weighs just 1/12th of what a traditional clay brick does and 1/4th the weight of a clay thin brick. NewBrick weights 2.45 pounds per square foot compared to a 4-inch face brick which is about 29 pounds per square foot. Though Dryvit was unable to provide details regarding the exact materials that make up the brick, the bricks consist of three layers—the first base layer consists of an insulated core, the second layer consists of material provides durability, impact resistance and protection to the insulated layer, and the third layer is made of a weather resistant material in a color and texture that can be customized.

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