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World’s first recycled brick goes into production


Brick made with 90% recycled content and no cement goes into commercial production in Scotland

THE world’s first building brick made with 90% recycled content from construction and demolition waste using no cement has gone into production in Scotland.

The K-Briq is said to produce just 10% of the CO2 emissions of a traditional fired brick, uses less than a tenth of the energy in its manufacture and can be made in any colour.

Developed at Heriot-Watt University, the K-Briq is the first product from Kenoteq Ltd, a clean-tech spin-out from Heriot-Watt that specializes in low-carbon building products.

Prof. Gabriela Medero, who conceived the idea of the K-Briq more than 10 years ago, said: ‘The K-Briq looks like a normal brick, weighs the same and behaves like a clay brick but offers better insulation properties.

‘It is sustainable and not kiln-fired, so it is far better for the environment and represents massive savings for the construction industry in terms of related taxes.’

Comparably priced to conventional brickwork and cladding, K-Briqs are also said to prevent condensation and keep buildings cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Dr Sam Chapman, who works in close partnership with Prof. Medero on Kenoteq, commented: ‘Kenoteq have invested in machinery that can produce 3 million bricks per year.

‘In the past year, we’ve produced thousands of bricks and put them through rigorous testing with the K-Briq now commercially available to construction clients.

‘The Scottish Government has set very high targets for house building with 50,000 new homes earmarked for construction in the next three years. We hope Kenoteq will be part of those homes.’

Currently, up to 85% of bricks used in Scotland are imported from England or Europe. The team now has an agreement with Hamilton’s Waste & Recycling to produce the K-Briq at their recycling site, thereby reducing transport miles and carbon emissions.

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