International clay and construction news

Clay Technology magazine
11 May 2016

Brick and construction news from across the globe

Ibstock plant underway

A new brick plant by Ibstock Group, commissioned by Keller HCW, in Ibstock, is scheduled for completion in 2017 and will produce around 100 million soft mud bricks. The project will start downstream of the soft mud plant supplied by de Boer. The new plant promises low-energy consumption with Peter Kinken, Sales Manager, commenting, ‘We will build a tunnel dryer with slotted jet walls and integrated sand collecting and cleaning equipment. This is still relatively uncommon for soft mud installations, however, it facilitates optimal heat energy management.’ Keller HCW claims, the plant will be ‘one of the most modern brickworks worldwide’.

The resurgence of clay tiles

Handmade clay roof tiles are in high demand, according to British roofing company, Marley Eternit, which launched its range of handmade clay tiles in 2015. The company started producing the Canterbury tiles after increased requests for handmade clay plain tiles. Each is designed by hand and tailored uniquely in appearance and character. The tiles come in three different colours – loxleigh, burford and chailey – and can be used alone or mixed.

A cause for concern

East London is experiencing an outbreak of brick thefts targeting London stock yellow bricks, which pre-date the Victorian era. Experts have warned these bricks, which can sell for up to £1 each, are being sold on the black market to building merchants, who are unaware they have been stolen, for use in residential homes in strict conservation areas. Police are investigating 30 cases of theft in Waltham Forest, Newham and other surrounding areas. Yellow London stock bricks were used by masons and builders for the majority of building work in London and the southeast until the early 20th Century. Their distinctive colour is derived from the local clay used to make them. Targeted buildings include the Grade II-listed St Mary’s Church, and St Patrick’s Roman Catholic cemetery in Leytonstone, which has been targeted twice in a month, in addtion to smaller sites such as garden walls.

Best in brick

European brick manufacturer Wienerberger has announced the shortlist for this year’s  brick awards. From more than 600 projects from 55 different countries, a panel of architects have shortlisted 50 projects under the following categories – residential and public use, re-use, urban infill and special solution. The architectural award is presented to outstanding examples of modern and innovative brick architecture. Among the 2016 shortlisted projects are Frank Gehry’s Dr Chau Chak Wing Building, O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects’ LSE Saw Swee Hock Student Centre and the Library of Muyinga by BC Architects. The awards ceremony will be held on 19 May in Vienna, Austria. The full shortlist can be viewed at