A versatile building material, the most common type of brick is made from clay. Depending on the composition of the clay used and other processes, bricks can come in a variety of colours.
– Clay bricks are strong, last a long period, and are durable. They are also fire and waterproof and can be used for a variety of designs. (ref)
– Bricks will last a long time, not needing to be replaced. Bricks can also easily be reused. (ref)
– Clay manufacturing plants tend to be near the source, making it more eco-friendly as less transport is needed, for European countries, at least. (ref)
– Other materials can be added to clay, such as sawdust, to reduce waste in other sectors. (ref)
– It can be sourced from the EU meaning environmental impact from transportation. (ref)
– Clay is a non-renewable source, it will not grow back like a tree and will never truly be sustainable.
– Bricks are dried in a kiln, which can harm the environment through the power needed to do this. The land also needs to be altered in order to harvest clay. (ref)
– Kiln drying can be made more sustainable and less CO2 impactful if renewable or gaseous fuels are used. (ref)
A man-made material created from clay, it is durable and versatile, however, clay itself is not renewable, and eventually will run out, meaning clay will always be a limited resource. Kiln-drying clay can also be costly for the environment as this can emit a lot of CO2 depending on the fuel type. Bricks can also be obtained from the EU, where most factories are located to clay extraction which reduces the amount it needs to travel to be turned into bricks. This, and being relatively close to the UK, mean EU bricks can be sourced in a way that damages the environment as little as possible. However, the extra process of kiln drying may make natural stones like local Granite or Sandstone more favourable.