Australia’s leading building products manufacturer, Brickworks Building Products has announced the launch of the country’s first carbon neutral bricks and pavers. Manufactured at Brickworks’ subsidiary Austral Bricks at its Longford plant in Tasmania, Australia’s first certified carbon neutral bricks under the Federal Government’s National Carbon Offset Standard are available nationally under the Daniel Robertson brand.
This milestone reflects Brickworks’ ongoing commitment to deliver sustainable products and processes and to conserve precious natural resources. The Australian Government’s voluntary Carbon Neutral Programme requires the measurement, auditing and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the offset of any remaining emissions.
The carbon neutral certification of the range of pavers and bricks manufactured at Longford is largely achieved by the use of sawdust, a biomass material and a by-product of the local Tasmanian timber industry, for kiln firing.
Mr Steven Mouzakis, National Energy and Sustainability Manager observes that the use of low emissions biomass, as opposed to fossil fuels, is largely responsible for the Longford plant’s low carbon dioxide emissions. Emissions from the biomass are just 215 tonnes per year, about the same as 12 average Australian households. In contrast, a conventional natural gas kiln of the same capacity could emit approximately 8,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases.
The certification under the Carbon Neutral Program measures all emissions contributors such as raw material extraction, onsite transport, product deliveries across Australia and internationally, water usage, packaging, waste and business operations, apart from kiln emissions.
According to Mr Mouzakis, the successful carbon neutral certification has been partly achieved through a rigorous ongoing program of energy efficiency improvements to manufacturing and associated operations. All remaining greenhouse gas emissions are offset by purchasing carbon credits in Tasmanian projects such as tree planting under the Forests Alive program.
Clay bricks are already renowned for their long life and high thermal mass, which makes them a smart choice in an energy efficient building design. Apart from being Carbon Neutral, bricks can also save homeowners up to 25 per cent on their electricity bills.
Mr Mouzakis adds that architects, builders and home owners concerned with reducing their energy usage and carbon footprint should consider using bricks from the Daniel Robertson range. Bricks not only help regulate internal temperatures within a home to make it more comfortable, they are now certified as being good for the environment.