Recycled brick promises 90% CO2 reduction

By Mike Hayes27 November 2020

K-Briqs, made from 90% recycled construction waste

K-Briqs, made from 90% recycled construction waste

A new recycled brick, made using a tenth of the energy of a standard clay brick, has been named STEM Research Project of the Year at the UK’s Times Higher Education awards.

The brainchild of academics at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, the K-Briq was recognised by competition judges as an ‘important contribution…to sustainable construction worldwide’ and ‘a potential game changer’.

Up to 90% of the the K-Briq’s constituents come from building-site waste, with the unfired production process said to take two to three minutes, as opposed to up to 40 hours for traditional fired bricks. The process has also been shown to reduce C02 emissions by 90%.

A spin-off company, Kenoteq, has now established a production process with a goal of manufacturing as many as 3 million K-Briq’s by the end of the year.

Professor Gabriela Medero with the K-Briq

Professor Gabriela Medero with the K-Briq

Meanwhile, a flagship project has been established for 2021, with the new Serpentine Pavilion in London set to use the new bricks in its construction.

The university project that resulted in the development of the K-Briq was led by Professor Gabriela Medero from the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society, and Dr Sam Chapman, managing director of Kenoteq.

Professor Gabriela Medero, said, “We set out to create a building product that could embed sustainability at the heart of the construction industry. Globally, construction accounts for 39% of the world’s total CO2 emissions so tackling this challenge will have a huge impact on the sustainability of the sector as we push towards net zero targets. This award is testament to the tireless work of our interdisciplinary team of civil, structural, chemical and mechanical engineers, architects, chemists and geologists who have collaborated for more than a decade to bring K-Briq to market.”

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