Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Development of unfired clay brick systems for sustainable construction

At a glance

Funding body: DTi Technology Programme (2007-9)
Principal investigator: Andrew Heath
Co-investigator: Pete Walker
Researcher: Mike Lawrence
Industry partners: Hanson, Ibstock Brick, Errol Brick, Brick Development Association, arc Architects, Lime Technology
Dates: 2007-2009


The project seeks to exploit the established advantages of unfired clay building materials, including low carbon emissions and passive environmental control, in contemporary construction.

Unfired clay masonry can replace fired brick and concrete block masonry in many applications, with significant reductions in the consumption of natural resources, and in waste sent to landfill as the raw materials. These benefits are inherent in the manufacture process, but continue through the whole life cycle. This project will investigate characteristics of unfired clay brick masonry, along with appropriate mortars and finishes, for use in the UK and abroad.

The aim of this project is to provide technical solutions that will enable the brick industry to develop commercially viable products from unfired clay, which are more sustainable, cheaper, technically responsive and healthy compared to existing products.