The makers of a new greener brick say it uses up to 90 per cent less energy and releases 90 per cent less CO2 than traditional bricks.
The fly-ash brick is being developed by CalStar Products in California, after research conducted at the University of Missouri.
In the UK, The Green Building Company has licensed the process and is in the process of testing sources of fly ash in Britain and Ireland to see if they are suitable for production.
The manufacturing process mixes fly ash, sand and chemicals, which are then poured into moulds to shape it. The bricks can be formed and coloured to resemble any brick or paving material.
Michael Kane, Calstar’s chief executive, said that the products look and perform exactly like traditional bricks.
The UK’s targets for reducing carbon emissions mean that houses have to be zero carbon by 2016 and other buildings by 2019.
In the last few years, the effort has been about reducing household emissions through the use of increased insulation and energy efficient appliances, but the emphasis is now moving to the structure of buildings.