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Bricking it: are you ready for the challenges of low-carbon construction?

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Thursday 27th February, 2020

All construction products have some impact on the environment, whether that's in the extraction of raw materials, manufacturing, packaging, transportation, site wastage and through their lifecycle to disposal or recycling.

With the reduction of CO2 now a primary focus, the housebuilding sector is challenged to find a lower-carbon solution to its new-build requirements.

It’s a challenge that Marshalls Bricks and Masonry takes seriously. And you should too.

Leader on Carbon Labelling

Marshalls is recognised as an industry leader on sustainability - and a key part of that is Marshalls' commitment to addressing climate change by significantly minimising the carbon impact of its products

In an 18-month pilot with the Carbon Trust, Marshalls became the first business in the industry to put Carbon Reduction Labels across an entire range of 503 hard landscaping products. It makes Marshalls one of the world’s leading companies in terms of carbon labeling. 

Little wonder we’re leading the way on a low-carbon housebuilding alternative.

The low-carbon brick is here.

In November 2018, Marshalls acquired Edenhall - and added bricks to our portfolio of products.

In a sector where fired clay bricks dominate the landscape, concrete bricks have often been overlooked. But in our new low-carbon world they provide the only viable way of meeting our climate change obligations.

Independent tests have shown not only that concrete bricks match clay bricks on performance, but that concrete bricks have significantly less embodied carbon than regular clay bricks - 28% less in manufacture and almost 50% less over their whole life. 

Which means switching from fired clay bricks to concrete bricks could effectively halve the embodied carbon in the face of every house you build.

The difference is huge.

When you compare concrete bricks with traditional clay bricks, the CO2 savings are huge. But when you put it into an everyday carbon saving context, you can really see the difference a wholesale switch from clay to concrete could have on our environment.

 If the industry switched from clay bricks to concrete:

1. It would produce the same CO2 saving as removing over 300,000 cars from the road.

2. It would save the CO2 equivalent of almost half a million transatlantic flights.

Put simply if the housebuilding sector is to meet both its building targets and the required reduction in embodied carbon in the materials it uses, it cannot do that using conventional fired clay bricks.

It's time to rethink your opinion on concrete bricks. Our low-carbon future depends on it.

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