‘Green’ bricks are neat, strong and en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

EVEN SUCH ba­sic ma­te­ri­als as bricks can be part of the rapidly grow­ing green move­ment in the build­ing sec­tor, says Ch­eryl Neave of the Cape Town Build­ing Cen­tre.

For in­stance, one of the Build­ing Cen­tre’s six brick man­u­fac­turer ex­hibitors, Cape Brick, uses re­cy­cled crushed con­crete for 70 per­cent of the in­gre­di­ents in its bricks.

De­liv­ery and fuel costs in­volved in get­ting ma­te­ri­als to the plant are kept to a min­i­mum as its plant in Salt River is only 5km from the cen­tre of Cape Town, where most de­mo­li­tions take place.

En­ergy-ef­fi­cient ma­te­ri­als have two char­ac­ter­is­tics.

First, they pro­vide ef­fi­cient ther mal in­su­la­tion, which re­duces the amount of en­ergy re­quired to heat or cool the build­ing.

Sec­ond, they have a low “em­bod­ied en­ergy” count. This means en­ergy in­put dur­ing the man­u­fac­tur­ing process and the trans­port of ma­te­ri­als is re­duced.

Neave says the prod­ucts cut down the amount of con­struc­tion and de­mo­li­tion waste, and help re­duce the size and growth of land­fill sites.

“The amount of raw ma­te­ri­als quar­ried for the man­u­fac­tur­ing process is also re­duced,” she says.

An­other plus is that the re­cy­cled ag­gre­gate used to man­u­fac­ture the bricks is a more uni­form shape than the quar­ried ag­gre­gate, and pro­duces a neat brick which uses less ce­ment in the con­crete mix to achieve the same com­pres­sive strength.

In ad­di­tion, Cape Brick’s own waste prod­ucts are re­cy­cled, as it aims to pro­duce zero waste.

Cape Brick was founded in 1938 with a con­tract to trans­port waste ash from the Salt River power sta­tion. Ash was used to make bricks and could be sold to clay brick man­u­fac­tur­ers.

In 1998, the com­pany bought a state-of-the-art VB4X brick plant from Pan Mix­ers South Africa. This dou­bled its pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity and im­proved ef­fi­cien­cies.

In 2001, Cape Brick set up a waste and re­cy­cling plant with the pur­chase of a gyro and jaw crusher, re­sult­ing in its en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly prod­ucts.

Call 021 685 3040 or e-mail bc@new.co.za.

IM­PRES­SIVE: Ch­eryl Neave of t h e C a p e To w n B u i l d i n g Cen­tre with a sam­ple of Cape Brick’s ‘green’ bricks.

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