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[Source: Andrea Klettner, bdonline co uk

Architects fear a new carbon tax could force the UK brick industry into decline, pushing up costs and forcing them to import the material from elsewhere. The news comes as the European Union prepares to classify heavy clay industries, including brick, roof tile and clay drainage pipe manufacturers under "carbon leakage risk" legislation, which will limit their carbon emissions.

Any emissions outside the allowance would be subject to an increasing charge from 2013, with brick-makers at risk of paying for 90% of their emissions by 2020 if they are not reclassified. Bob Allies, director at Allies & Morrison, said it would be a "tragedy" to stop manufacturing in the UK. "Brick is one of our fundamental materials and it would be sad to import bricks when we can make our own," he said.

The EU's move would also mean a competitive disadvantage for clay-based products compared to other materials such as steel and cement, which have been given more free carbon allowances.

Laura Cohen, chief executive of the British Ceramic Confederation, said: "I would like UK architects to be able to source and use quality, durable products - those made in the UK in energy-efficient factories.

"Present policies mean that essential products such as bricks and roof tiles are likely in the future to be imported from overseas - from less energy-efficient and more polluting factories."

Alan Davies, architect director of historic environments at BDP, used a local supplier to produce bespoke bricks for the restoration of Murrays' Mills in Manchester. He said: "This is the kind of service we should be encouraging. If this goes ahead we would have to go further afield for the bricks, which is nonsense in terms of sustainability and financially."

Meanwhile, brick manufacturers are holding out on further investment in the UK while the EU makes its decision. Wayne Sheppard, managing director of Ibstock Brick, said: "Ibstock has already invested more than 50 million in energy-efficiency improvements in the UK in the last decade. We had reduced our carbon emissions pre-recession by 18% as a result."
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Story Type : 831

Location : Belgium > Brabant Brussels
Category : BRICKS
ID : 59647
User : 156 ; ; (Administrator)
Date Created : 19 May 2011 12:48:34
Date Modified : 28 May 2011 19:05:33;

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