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Overview: Brick has different applications in construction elements, notably walls and pavements. Bricks are produced in several ways in terms of type, size and the material used; the variation is largely associated with the origin and time of the brick's production. In 2018-19, the three main clay brick products in Australia were face bricks (65.5%), common bricks (22.1%) and clay pavers (12.4%).

In Australia, in 2011, between 85–90% of new dwellings were built with external brick walls and concrete flooring. The key demand for brick comes from these industries: house construction, multi-unit apartment and townhouse construction, bricklaying services, landscaping services, commercial and industrial building construction, institutional building construction, and hardware wholesaling. It is estimated that brick waste accounts for 50-70% of the construction waste generated in urban redevelopment and 30-50% in building operations.

Supply chain (circular economy): Analysis of the clay brick lifecycle shows that there are many opportunities for minimising or redirecting brick waste from landfill. These opportunities present themselves at various stages of its supply chain. A brick specific LoWMoR model based on these opportunities were created and provided in the following figure:

     Brick LoWMoR model

Brick model.JPG

Relevant Industry associations 

Major brick producers in Australia 

Recommendations to reduce brick waste disposal

  • Consider building standardisation to improve buildability and reduce the number of offcuts

  • Order bricks more accurately using the best takeoff practice

  • Ensure the bottom layers of bricks remain useable by preventing soil contamination

  • Store bricks in a stable flat area to avoid breakages from fall overs

  • Determine a means for cutting bricks into half more accurately so that both halves can be used and breakages avoided

  • Supplier to provide more flexible “last pack” sizes i.e. a “fractional” pallet instead of a full pallet

  • Take unwanted bricks back to brickyard for crushing and re-use in brick production; this can be also complemented by offering the customer leftover (full) bricks

  • Include a clean-up payment in the scope of the bricklayer’s subcontract to assist recycling and to discourage wasteful site practices

  • Develop an agreement where a contractor “sells back” the re-cycled waste from the original material supplier

  • Take brick left-overs away to use as aggregate or landscaping cover

 Guidelines, policies and standards

  • ​AS/NZS 44559

  • AS/NZS 37001

 Full report: click here

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