Call for Greater Use of Eco-friendly Materials

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cape brickThe call by environmental consultant  Saleh Kamal for greater use of eco friendly construction materials, was met with enthusiasm by Jacques Tresfon of Cape Brick who claims their products are probably the most environmentally friendly concrete products available.

“Our hollow core concrete bricks and blocks, made using recycled construction and demolition materials, contain the lowest embodied energy of all brick products available,” said Tresfon.

Engineers and realtors yesterday called for using environment-friendly construction materials instead of clay bricks to stop pollution.  “The use of clay bricks in construction is outdated. This is diminishing cultivable lands and trees and pollution keeps rising due to it,” said Saleh Kamal.

Kamal presented a keynote on ‘using environment-friendly construction materials in Bangladesh’ at a programme organised by Concord, a real estate company, at Westin Hotel in the capital.   Kamal claims that clay brick makers consumed 45 million tonnes of agriculture topsoil in 2011 and a total of 1.5 million tonnes of timber and 3.5 million tonnes of coal were consumed to produce 17.2 billion clay bricks in 2011, worsening air pollution further.

“There is no choice other than using alternative and environment-friendly hollow bricks and hollow blocks to save the environment.”

The real estate developer Concord has developed 4,000 flats in its Lake City project in Khilkhet using hollow bricks and blocks.  Kamal claims that the hollow bricks and blocks, a mix of concrete, cement and water, are the right choice due to their eco-friendly properties.

“These building materials save a huge amount of agricultural lands and trees, and keep air pollution and water wastage at a minimum level”, he said.  Hollow bricks are lighter, economical and fire resistant, having structural integrity, low maintenance cost and energy efficacy, while hollow blocks absorb less water than clay bricks.

Citing a World Bank report of 2011, Concord Group Chairman SM Kamaluddin said brick making accounts for about 40 percent of Dhaka’s fine-particle air pollution.  Brick kilns cause 750 premature deaths a year from cancer and cardiopulmonary diseases, he said.  Concord has invested heavily in industries and manufacturing technologies that promote sustainable development, he said.

Published: Star Business Report – August 25, 2014

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