Home improvement tips: Could carbon neutral bricks be right for you?

By the resi financial blog team, 04 April 2014

What are carbon neutral bricks

Sustainable home features have always been a focus for many Australians looking into renovating their home, but a recent development could offer another avenue for cleaner, greener architecture. The nation's first certified carbon neutral brick has been launched by Brickworks Building Products and could offer an environmentally friendly alternative to other building materials. 

What makes them carbon neutral? One of the innovations involved with the process is the use of excess sawdust from Tasmania's forestry industry in the firing process, which is considered a waste product in most other applications. This allows the manufacturing plant to release 215 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually - a dramatic reduction when compared to the approximate 8,500 tonnes released using natural gases. 

In addition to this, the plants have also implemented energy efficient measures including a new gas burner system, recycling kiln heat to dry sawdust before use and new lighting. All of this works towards helping create a carbon neutral process for brick creation. 

Brickworks' Group Technical Research and Engineering Manager Cathy Inglis explained the process of making the plant carbon neutral, saying they went through every single process in the plant to reduce their carbon as much as possible and embrace a sustainable working style. 

"Bricks are one of the cheaper building materials to use, but they have a reputation of using a lot of energy to be made. As such, architects who were looking at projects with green credentials would steer away from bricks, but the availability of carbon neutral bricks gives them an opportunity to look at bricks again," said Ms Inglis in an April 1 article posted on the Architecture and Design website. 

She went on to say the firm is now undertaking other trials with organic waste materials in order to continue driving both prices and environmental impact down in the future. 

Categories: Property Investment