Veneer is defined as a facing that provides ornamentation, protection, or insulation. Brick veneer provides all three--a decorative, durable, low-maintenance wall surface that offers both thermal mass and resistance to heat flow. NO LOADS PLEASE Brick veneer is a single exterior wythe of face brick anchored to a backup system with a 1- to 2-inch air space in between for moisture drainage. Veneer can carry no loads other than its own weight, the dead load of the veneer above, and a proportionate share of the lateral load. SUPPORTING BRICK VENEER Simple building foundations usually can support brick veneer up to two stories high. Above two stories, brick veneer usually needs noncombustible intermediate supports, such as concrete floor slabs or steel shelf angles. ANCHORING BRICK VENEER You must adhere or mechanically anchor brick veneer to a backing of concrete, concrete masonry, brick, structural clay tile, or wood or metal studs. ACCOMMODATING MOVEMENT Any time brick interfaces with other materials, the designer must allow for different construction tolerances and the differential movement caused by temperature changes, moisture-volume changes, shrinkage, creep, and deflection. INSULATING VENEER WALLS You can insulate brick veneer walls in several ways. The most common types used are: glass fiber batts; loose-fill (perlite, vermiculite, or expanded polystyrene); and rigid board insulation.