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REBRICK – Reuse bricks to give them a new life

by Joan Marc Simon

Why invest energy and resources in producing a new brick when you can reuse an old one?

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A Danish company called GamleMursten ApS turns what used to be waste into a resource and demonstrates that reusing old bricks is a feasible, sustainable, and fashionable way for building new or restoring existing buildings.

This European funded project is called REBRICK and has demonstrated that an old brick is not “just a brick” for it allows:

  • Transforming  waste into a product
  • Saving 500g CO2for every brick reused
  • Enlarging the life cycle of a product with an energy intensive production process
  • Creating jobs across Europe
  • Giving new buildings soul and legacy
  • Turning brick-supply into an advisory service
  • Enabling the rebirth of a building via the rebirth of a brick
  • Providing architects with new creative possibilities and builders with commercial arguments
  • Endowing a commodity with history and storytelling

Sometimes these types of industrial processes involve using chemicals and massive amounts of water, but this is not the case with REBRICK. The technology for cleaning old bricks consists of a patented, vibration-based system that both sorts the demolition waste as well as cleans mortar from old bricks without using water or chemicals, thus constituting a very environmentally friendly process. After cleaning, the bricks are manually sorted according to their visual characteristics, quality, and value. Each brick is then placed on a conveyor system to be automatically stacked and wrapped by a robot. The bricks are then ready for a prolonged life in a new building.

Furthermore, the machine can be disassembled and the entire production facility can be moved to another location in a matter of weeks. Hence, it is technically possible to locate the facility close to areas with huge demolition potential and later, once the buildings are demolished, to move the entire facility to a new location.

The cleaning process

The technology for cleaning old bricks consists of a patented, vibration-based system that both sorts the demolition waste as well as cleans mortar from old bricks without using water or chemicals, thus being a very environmentally friendly process. After cleaning, the bricks are manually sorted according to their visual characteristics, quality, and value. Each brick is then placed on a conveyor system to be automatically stacked and wrapped by a robot. The bricks are then ready for a prolonged life in a new building.

Furthermore, the machine can be disassembled and the entire production facility can be moved to another location in a matter of weeks. Hence, it is technically possible to locate the facility close to areas with huge demolition potential and later, once the buildings are demolished, to move the entire facility to a new location.

Final Results

The main results achieved is the opening of a successful full scale plant at Copenhagen (with a capacity of 4000 bricks per hour) and a Supply Chain Ecosystem for future market replication.

The first bricks to run through the machine were yellow bricks from the agricultural University in Copenhagen and red bricks from the former Carlsberg production, which has been moved and the production site will now make room for a sustainable town. The factory, which is the culmination of the EU – Eco Innovation funded REBRICK project, will be receiving brick waste mainly from Copenhagen and Zealand, and a recent version of the cleaning machine and a developed robot system for palletizing and stabling of bricks will assist in efficient cleaning and handling of the old bricks.

The successful results obtained within the course of the project have demonstrated that reusing old bricks is a feasible, sustainable and fashionable way of building new or restoring existing buildings whilst creating new green jobs.

This is yet another example of the need to have targets for reuse operations at European level.

 

 

For more information please contact:

Gamle Mursten – Coordinator (Denmark)http://www.gamlemursten.eu/    + 45 6221 1416 D’Appolonia – REBRICK’s Project partner (Italy)+39 010 3628148

Reusing old bricks is a feasible, sustainable and fashionable way of building new or restoring existing buildings whilst creating new green jobs.

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There is 1 comment
  1. […] Waste Europek zabaldu du albistea: “Reuse bricks to give them a new life. Why invest energy and resources in producing a new brick when …“. Bertan kontatzen da nola Danimarkako GamleMursten ApS konpainiak sortu duen Rebrick […]

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