A brick with 90% carbon reduction: construction reconsidered
I recently read an article about K-Briqs, a new type of bricks made by Kenoteq in Edinburgh. Compared to traditional clay bricks, it requires 90% less energy for production (as we know how much heat is needed to produce bricks) and emits 90% less carbon.
Since carbon footprint reduction surrounds every part of life, construction as a major activity under urbanization should consider its carbon footprint. It is interesting that the bricks we use today have not changed much over the past millennia. If that’s the case, why don’t construction companies adopt more ecofriendly building materials like K-Briqs?
The truth is the construction industry is slow to changes. It is understandable when we think of those ordinary buildings and how they are constructed. They are very standardized. Although pre-casting is quite common today in developed cities and was once regarded as a major innovation, it has been adopted mainly due to the reduced installation costs.
To replace current building materials by K-Briqs or other ecofriendly materials, the industry has to be convinced that those innovations can bring both environmental and business benefits. A competitive cost is needed. What’s more may be tax incentives or other measures to stimulate conversion. Although glass panels are widely used in big cities, they are less common for residential buildings and in other places. Bricks and concrete undeniably are still major building materials. They are cost efficient. But it’s time to change. Society needs more parameters. If new materials are available, why don’t we try?