The building brick of the future

A building brick made from 90% recycled construction and demolition waste has been launched by a spin-out company from Heriot-Watt University.

The K-Briq produces just a tenth of the CO2 emissions of 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 cleantech spin-out, Kenoteq Ltd, the brick’s story was featured on the January 7th episode of BBC’s The One Show.

Professor Gabriela Medero, who conceived the idea of the K-Briq more than 10 years ago, said: “We are looking forward to sharing the journey of the Kenoteq on tonight’s show and immersing viewers in the story of our research. We hope K-Briq will help support the sustainability ambitions of today’s construction industry.

“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.”

Up to 85% of bricks used in Scotland are currently being imported from England or Europe raising considerable questions about the long-term sustainability of the sector. The team now has an agreement with Hamilton’s Waste & Recycling to produce the K-Briq onsite at their recycling site, thereby reducing transport miles and carbon emissions.

As we strive to move towards a more sustainable future, companies such as Kenoteq are inventing new ways for us to reduce the impact we have on the environment. By not utilising cement they are also negating potential carbon emissions from cement suppliers.