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Ecclesistical & Heritage World No.92

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Proven reliability over the centuries - and annual awards are back

Brick is one of our oldest building materials and its use dates back to the beginning of civilisation.

The Brick Development Association represents the United Kingdom and Ireland’s clay brick and paver industries and promotes the contribution that brick makes to the places and spaces we live and work in today. Their role is to ensure clay brick and pavers are recognised as the material of choice by architects, engineers, planners, specifiers, developers, landscapers, builders and property owners.

The Brick Development Association conducts lectures and CPDs with students and practising architects and engineers and through it’s marketing arm, Think Brick, communicates the benefits of brick to a wider audience on-line, through advertising and PR and through the annual Brick Awards.

Brick has been a reliable construction material for centuries and has proven itself time and time again. There is no shortage of brick structures around the world still providing good service – just look at Brunel’s stunning spanned bridge over the Thames at Maidenhead or the brickwork at St Pancras.

Brick has long been a favourite among architects, developers and the public. Not only is it beautiful to look at, it has excellent sustainability credentials and it’s hard to beat on price. On versatility and pure aesthetics, few rivals come even close. And because we have been building with brick for thousands of years, its technology is well understood. In structural terms, its robustness provides solutions to masonry designs where ‘high’ strength is required.

Made from an abundant natural material, clay bricks have a much closer visual connection with their raw constituents than anything else you’ll find in a modern building. Their warm and humanising character brings buildings to life with a wonderful mixture of subtle tones and textures. Bricks blend easily and naturally with their environment and complement other building materials. Furthermore, brickwork can be adapted as a building changes use.

Now the case for brick has been boosted by a top environmental rating. The BRE’s latest Green Guide to Specification has assigned the highest possible accreditation A+ to every external wall it rated containing brick. This is positive proof that brick has a key role to play in meeting CSH targets.

It’s not surprising therefore that the demand for brick buildings continues to increase and this is clearly evident in the continuing success of the annual Brick Awards.

Organised by the Brick Development Association, the Awards, which first took place in 1977, are one of the top design and construction awards in the country – and the definitive showcase for what clay brick can do. 

The Awards recognise excellence in design and construction using brick. Each year, hundreds of entries are submitted and the prestigious trophies and more than 100 certificates are issued to the successful projects. The architect/designer, brick manufacturer, mortar compnay and specialist brickwork contractor are all acknowledged on each project.

This year's awards ceremony was held on 18th November at The Hilton, Park Lane in London when no fewer than 15 awards in various categories were presented.

For further information on the Brick Development Association click here.

You can find a selection of professionals in all things brick in our directory here - look for the BDA logo.

York Handmade project nominated for prestigious Stirling Prize

One of the York Handmade Brick Company’s most acclaimed projects has been shortlisted in the prestigious 2022 RIBA Stirling Prize.

York Handmade, based at Alne, near Easingwold, in North Yorkshire, provided more than 300,000 bricks for the magnificent new Magdalene College Library at Cambridge University.

Click here to read the full story.

Michelmersh to produce the world’s first 100% hydrogen fired clay bricks

Michelmersh has announced its successful bid to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) UK Government, Industrial Fuel Switching competition to conduct a feasibility study to replace natural gas with hydrogen in the brick making process. The programme is part of the £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) which aims to provide funding for low-carbon technologies to decreasing the costs of decarbonisation.

Click here to read the full story.

Leading brick maker reiterates its sustainability goals

Clay brick specialists the Michelmersh Group has released its 2021 Sustainability Report. The report offers an insightful and detailed account of Michelmersh’s established sustainable practices and its plans for achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Click here to read the full story.

Michelmersh wins four awards at the BDA’s Brick Awards 2021

Michelmersh is proud to announce that it won four awards and was highly commended for another four at Wednesday night’s 2021 BDA Brick Awards. With stunning trophies designed by award-winning designer, architect and researcher, Maria Gasparian, the 45th Brick Awards received a record number of entries. In her final year as Head Judge, Hilary Satchwell led a team of 14 esteemed judges with the unenviable task of selecting the best of the best.

Click here to read the full story.

Imagine it, design it, build it with Michelmersh’s Façade Designer

Michelmersh is pleased to announce the release of its Façade Designer, a fully customisable tool featured on mbhplc.co.uk which allows designers, architects and clients the ability to create their own brick façade using its full range of products. The Designer aims to inspire creativity, giving users the freedom to firstly choose brick types through colour, texture or size, proceeding onto a mortar colour, and lastly, a bond to evolve the façade to the desired specification.

Click here to read the full story.

York Handmade nominated for four awards at brick oscars

The York Handmade Brick Company, one of the leading independent brickmakers in the country, has been nominated in a number of categories in the prestigious 2021 Brick Awards.

York Handmade, based at Alne, near Easingwold, in North Yorkshire, is up for the awards following the company’s acclaimed role in the new library at Magdalene College, Cambridge (pictured); the restoration St Albans Cathedral in Hertfordshire; and the brand-new Valentine House at Allostock in Cheshire.

Click here to read the full story.