One of the beauties of using reclaimed bricks is that it helps preserve English heritage as new building work can remain in character with its environment. However, this raises the broader question of sustainability – where building work is not only in keeping with its environment, but seeks to limit its environmental impact.
Clearly – questions of haulage aside – the process of recycling bricks incurs a smaller carbon footprint than using new bricks with their associated production and firing processes.
The Building Research Establishment’s “Green Guide to Specification” has suggested that a greater capacity exists for recycling bricks.
Approximately 50% of global resources are consumed by the construction industry, therefore it is important that a sustainable approach is employed in the selection of materials. Sustainability means adapting the way we meet our objectives to minimise the impacts of construction, providing for people of today and not endangering the generations of tomorrow. Buildings are the greatest producers of environmentally harmful gases such as CO2 and this ‘eco-footprint’ is ever increasing.
Sourcing re-claimed bricks achieves a balance between the benefits of using renewable resources and the associated cost leading to achievement long-term profit from short-term outlay. Sustainable materials are those that are durable and efficient and minimise environmental impact whilst maximising recycling. With 60% of global resources being consumed by construction commitment to use of sustainable materials is vital in helping to avert the negative effects of global warming.
Life Cycle Assessment measures the ecological costs of products such as bricks in terms of energy consumed and waste produced, The total energy used during a materials life is referred to as its ‘embodied energy’ (See diagram below):
ReclaimedBrick-Tile.com is a proud supporter of Groundwork, the charity that works towards sustainable communities that are vibrant, healthy and safe, which respect the local and global environment and where individuals and enterprise prosper.