Using unbaked bricks to protect the environment

19:10 | 09/06/2015 Science - Technology

(VEN) - The Ministry of Science and Technology recently held in Hanoi the first session of the steering committee for the project promoting the production and utilization of unbaked bricks in Vietnam. With a total investment of nearly US$39 million, the project targets to increase the number of local unbaked brick suppliers and relevant service providers.

Using unbaked bricks to protect the environment

Indispensable tendency

With the strong development of the construction sector in Vietnam, the country consumes around 20-22 billion bricks a year, of which traditionally-made bricks accounted for 90 percent of the total utilized. Based on these figures the amount of clay for making bricks by 2020 is expected at 600 million cubic meters, equal to 30,000 hectares of land.

Baked bricks also waste energy including coal and wood. The production process also causes environmental pollution and emits a great quantity of toxic gas (CO2 and SO2) into the environment.

The prime minister issued Decision 567/QD-TTg on developing unbaked building materials with a target of unbaked bricks accounting for 20-25 percent of bricks used by 2015, and 30-40 percent by 2020 as part of moves to completely eradicate traditional brick production facilities.

According to reports of the Building Materials Department under the Ministry of Construction, until now the total capacity of three main types of unbaked bricks including cement-based bricks, autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) bricks and lightweight concrete bricks has reached 4.2 billion bricks a year. Unbaked bricks can now be found present in a lot of key construction works such as Keangnam Landmark Tower Hanoi, Habico Tower, the Pullman Hanoi, Hanoi Hotel Plaza, My Dinh National Stadium and European Overseas Vietnamese Village.

Developing production capability

Director of the project Nguyen Dinh Hau said the US$39 million project was set to run from November 2014 to November 2019, with funding provided by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) as a non-refundable grant through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

The project’s purpose is to help Vietnam reduce the annual growth rate of greenhouse gas emissions by gradually reducing the use of fossil fuels and clay for making brick through increasing the production, sales and utilization of unbaked bricks. The project has four components including support policies for technologies to produce unbaked bricks; building technical capability to produce and utilize unbaked bricks; sustainable financial resources for technological application to produce the bricks and performing unbaked brick production technologies.

According to Decision 567/QD-TTg on developing unbaked building materials, about 15-20 million tonnes of industrial wastes (thermoelectric ash and blast furnace slag) will be used annually to produce unbaked building materials, helping save agricultural land and land areas containing wastes.

The project is expected to strengthen the capacity of relevant government bodies in the field, help potential investors and small and medium-sized enterprises access sustainable financial resources for investment projects using unbaked bricks. Brick manufacturers will receive support in technology transfers, preferential loans at the Vietnam Environment Protection Fund or bank loans from the Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank).

Hau said, “Despite many advantages, unbaked bricks still can’t compete with the traditional bricks due to the lack of support policies, high prices and awareness of construction managers. Therefore, it is vital to implement the project in these circumstances./.”

By Quynh Nga