A more sustainable brick – made in Scotland
The K-briq is an idea whose time has come – but it has taken ten years to get to this point.
It was initially conceived by Gabriela Medero during her time as a professor at Heriot-Watt University’s School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society (EGIS) in response to her growing concerns about the environmental impact of traditional building materials and methods.
After a decade-long process of research, development, testing and proving, with support from Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), spin-out company Kenoteq is ready to scale up production and create the first commercial batches of K-briqs, ready to be used in new building projects.
Clay brick without the environmental drawbacks
The HWU research team wanted to explore the viability of creating an entirely new building material using construction waste.
The goal was to tackle the huge amounts of waste generated by the industry every year, a major contributor to its status as the world’s second-largest producer of CO2 emissions.
The K-briq research team was also keen to avoid concrete or other cement-based materials, being acutely aware of the environmental impact of cement production, estimated at around 8% of the world’s carbon emissions.
It was also to explore a more economically and environmentally-sustainable supply chain. 85 per cent of the bricks used in Scotland are brought in from England or Europe, another factor in the construction industry’s carbon footprint.
The K-briq concept aimed to determine whether it would be possible to create a material that would offer all the positive qualities of clay brick without the environmental drawbacks.