Clay bricks receive environmental accreditation

Clay Technology magazine
19 Aug 2009
Wienerberger's Warnham brickworks currently produces 65 million units per year

Clay building products made at Warnham brickworks in Horsham, UK, are the first to be accredited with the Building Research Establishment’s environmental and sustainability standard BES 6001, claims owners of the site Wienerberger.

The standard provides a framework to assess responsible sourcing and gives a route to certification for construction products. 'There is significant interest from our customers to establish sustainability credentials, and the ability to demonstrate such a level of performance allows [them] to achieve higher sustainability ratings for the buildings in which certified products are used,’ explains John Sandford, Wienerberger’s Technical Director. ‘The Code for Sustainable Homes recognises the achievement of BES 6001 for materials.’

The UK’s concrete industry and its upstream supply chain became the first construction products sector to embrace the standard in December 2008 and offers members of the Concrete Industry Sustainable Construction Forum guidance towards certification.

‘In the future, it is possible that a sector based scheme will be created for all clay brick products developed by the Brick Development Association, but [this] is still at an early stage,’ adds Sandford.

The Warnham site’s sustainability credentials include the use of renewable sources for all electrical power on site, and a significant amount of the process water used comes from rainwater.

‘Onsite generators are powered by landfill gas from abandoned clay quarries and rainwater is collected from lagoons to be used in the manufacturing process,’ says Sandford. ‘The majority of the raw material comes from the adjacent clay quarry and is taken to the brick factory by conveyor, therefore eliminating any vehicle movements on the public highway.’

The 6001 standard is structured so that compliance can be demonstrated by a combination of meeting the requirements of other recognised certification schemes, such as Quality and Environmental Management (ISO 9001 and 14001 respectively), and broadening this to include aspects related to the raw materials used in manufacture, as well as corporate responsibility.

Further information:
Wienerberger and BRE