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Recycled brick gets commercial funding

A brick, made of recycled construction waste, the K-Briq, will go into production thanks to £1 million in funding by Zero Waste Scotland to its developer Kenoteq, a clean-tech spin-out from Heriot-Watt University.

The multi award-winning K-Briq™ is made from over 90% recycled demolition and construction waste materials. It produces a tenth of the CO2 emissions of a traditional fired brick and requires less than a tenth of the energy in its manufacture. By re-using valuable recycled materials from construction and demolition waste, Kenoteq has achieved a circular-economy exemplar and will lead the delivery of a circular economy revolution for the construction sector.

The funding will allow the company to create 15 new jobs over the next 5 years in manufacturing, production, quality assurance, marketing and sales roles. By scaling production, Kenoteq will enable the construction industry to deliver the equivalent of 924 low carbon homes over a five-year period.

Sam Chapman, managing director, Kenoteq said: “The construction industry faces a tremendous challenge when meeting decarbonisation goals. The industry sends over 800 million tonnes of waste to landfill in Europe every year[1], at a huge cost to itself and the environment. In the UK, construction and the built environment accounts for approximately 50 percent of all waste generated in Scotland.

“The K-Briq presents an opportunity for the construction sector to reduce landfill, limit reliance on finite resources and take advantage of waste materials to create a more sustainable and ecologically viable built environment. The K-Briq slashes energy use, both in its manufacturing process and also once in use as it has double the insulation properties of existing bricks and blocks. By using recycled pigments, it can be made in a range of colours providing flexibility to architects and design planners.

“With this funding, we will scale the manufacturing capacity from a pilot plant to industrial-scale production through development of a new manufacturing line in Scotland. We will then create a template for the provision of production systems to selected waste handling partners across Scotland and the UK.”

The K-Briq was conceived by Professor Gabriela Medero from Heriot-Watt University following more than a decade of research and development into creating innovative, low-carbon products from recycled construction waste. Professor Medero is co-founder and technical director of Kenoteq, which launched in January 2020.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Fiona Russell-Horne
Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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