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Sawdust Fires up a Greener Brick

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

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A combination of new technologies—and a whole lot of sawdust—has enabled Australia’s largest brick producer to turn out what it calls the first carbon-neutral brick.

Brickworks Limited, based in New South Wales, says its new brick is the first certified under the Australian Government’s National Carbon Offset Standard Carbon Neutral Program.

Images: Brickworks Limited

The bricks (not pictured) are available through Austral Bricks (Tasmania) Pty Ltd and Daniel Roberson Pty Ltd throughout Australia.

The line was launched May 8 at the company's Austral Bricks plant in Tasmania.

The bricks are available through Austral Bricks (Tasmania) Pty Ltd and Daniel Roberson Pty Ltd throughout Australia.

Years of Development

The new product reflects a decade of efforts to improve process and energy efficiencies that have allowed the company to voluntarily reduce its energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by more than 45 percent, said managing director Lindsay Partridge.

The new government certification factors in all of the emissions in the product's supply chain, not just the manufacturing emissions, the company notes. Partridge said the company used locally sourced waste (sawdust) as biomass energy for its kiln to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by almost 100 percent.

Brickworks Ltd.

Brickworks Ltd. is Australia's largest producer of bricks.

That slashed CO2 emissions from 8,607 tonnes per year to just 215 tonnes, "equivalent to the annual output of 466 average Australian households," he said.

The company bought carbon offsets and pursued other energy and greenhouse-gas abatement projects to account for the other savings, Partridge said.

About the Company

"Architects, builders and consumers can now specify bricks from Daniel Robertson and Austral Bricks (Tasmania) knowing that their manufacture results in zero net emissions of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere," the company says on its website.

Brickworks Ltd

Sawdust fuel is the "secret ingredient" in Brickworks' new process.

Partridge called the certification "another step in Brickworks Building Products’ journey towards becoming Australia’s most sustainable building materials company.

The Brickworks group of companies is one of Australia's largest building products suppliers. Brickworks' Building Products group consists of Austral Bricks (founded in 1908), Austral Masonry, Austral Precast, Bristile Roofing, Auswest Timber, Bowral Bricks, Daniel Robertson, Nubrik and GB Masonry.

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Tagged categories: Brick; Green building; Green walls

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (6/11/2014, 8:24 AM)

Or they could just make fly ash bricks, and eliminate the kiln entirely. Thus the 8400 tonnes of emissions could be saved doubly by burning the sawdust for electricity instead of coal. Example:

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