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Last updateTue, 31 Mar 2020 12pm

University unveils building brick made from 90% recycled construction waste

A Scottish university has unveiled the world's first building brick that's made from 90% recycled construction and demolition waste. 

The K-Briq produces a tenth of the CO2 emissions of a traditional fired brick, uses less than a tenth of the energy in its manufacture and can be made in any colour.

Incubated at Heriot-Watt University and now the first product from clean tech spin-out, Kenoteq Ltd, the multiple award-winning K-Briq is a circular economy exemplar.

Professor Gabriela Medero from Heriot-Watt University conceived the idea of the K-Briq more than 10 years ago. She said: “I have spent many years researching building materials and have been concerned that modern construction techniques exploit raw materials without considering that they are amongst the largest contributors to carbon emissions. The amount of waste they produce is not sustainable long-term. 

“The K-Briq looks like a normal brick, weighs the same and behaves like a clay brick but offers better insulation properties. It is sustainable and not kiln-fired so it is far better for the environment and represents massive savings for the construction industry in terms of related taxes.”

Dr Sam Chapman, managing director of Kenoteq Ltd, said: “We hope K-Briq will help support the sustainability ambitions of today’s construction industry. Kenoteq has invested in the first set of machinery to scale up production. In the past year, we’ve produced thousands of bricks and put them through rigorous testing.  

"Up to 85 per cent of bricks used in Scotland are currently being imported from England or Europe, raising considerable questions about the long-term sustainability of the sector."

Kenoteq is funded and supported by partners including Zero Waste Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre and the Royal Academy of Engineering.

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