Kenoteq K-Briqs are made of 90% construction waste
Kenoteq is a Scottish startup that launched the K-Briq. This building material is a more sustainable building brick.
Why? K-Briq is important because it generates less than 1/10th of the carbon emissions in its manufacture than your standard brick. As well as saving energy in the manufacturing process, Kenoteq cuts emissions by producing the bricks locally. The initiative notes that currently up to 85% of bricks used in Scotland are imported from England or Europe (i.e. not sustainable in the long-term). Several materials researchers have come up with ways to improve the brick in the past several years to make them more environmentally friendly. Many times though, results have seldom made it into mass-production.
What is it? We like this material because it’s made using an unfired technique and consists of 90% construction waste.
Who’s behind it? It was invented by engineering professor Gabriela Medero at Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University. Medero spent 10+ years inventing the product at the Scottish university. She was compelled to do something about reducing the environmental impact of the construction industry. “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,” she said. “The amount of waste they produce is not sustainable long-term.”
How developed is it? Medero co-founded Kenoteq to put the bricks into commercial production, which is now underway. The K-Briq modules will also be used to build this year’s Serpentine Pavilion, which has been designed by South African architecture studio Counterspace. Kenoteq is producing its bricks on-site at Hamilton’s Waste and Recycling in Edinburgh, minimizing the amount of transport required in the process. According to Medero, “We are proud to be scaling it up to meet both the needs of the construction industry and to support the sustainability targets of both the Scottish and UK governments.”
Some technical details… According to Medero, the K-Briq looks like a normal brick, weighs the same, and behaves like clay brick, but offers better insulation properties. Kenoteq can produce it in any color.
- Tags Architecture, Engineering