The hefty carbon footprint of our built environment is one of the main contributors to the climate crisis. And while it’s essential that we find smarter, more efficient ways to operate our buildings, it is of equal importance to reduce the embodied carbon of the building materials that we use in construction.
The traditional clay brick is one of the main culprits here. Made by firing, the bricks are heated to about 2,000 Fahrenheit which, as you can imagine, takes a lot of energy.
Seeking to find a solution, Scottish start-up Kenoteq has developed an alternative called K-Briqs. Made of 90 percent recycled construction and demolition waste, K-Briqs do not need firing and their manufacturing process leaves behind only one-tenth the carbon pollution of traditional bricks.
As chief scientific officer Gabriela Medero explains, K-Briqs are durable, offer good insulation, and can be made in many different colors. “Architects and designers, they get really excited because they can be adopting a building material that is sustainable, is as durable as what they are used to using, but they can be very creative and can produce very exciting different new designs with all the colors that we can produce.”
Kenoteq is producing the bricks at a waste and recycling facility in Edinburgh. And as the company expands its production and distribution, K-Briqs could help lay a foundation for more climate-friendly buildings.