Making bricks from construction waste

Research, Materials

Waste Bricks are designed, tested and made by us using waste clays and chalk blended with other by-products.

Brick made with waste materials
Waste-based brick

When roads are dug up for repairs to services and foundations are dug for new housing in clay rich areas, these precious resources are often removed from site. Saving and re-using raw clay and chalk materials can unlock the hidden wealth and social riches of a place, with potential to build affordable homes and community assets, according to the individual and collective requirements of local people.
Read more about this at: Building community from the ground up

Brick with textured face and waste-based glaze

Local Works Studio have been testing and prototyping ways in which waste materials can be added to clay to produce a traditional fired brick. We have been working with a traditional brick company, making bricks with waste to match the historic colours and textures of traditional bricks.

Brick made with 100% waste materials

Every year in the UK 23,220,000 tonnes of excavated soil (including clays) are sent to landfill from construction sites, and the shortfall of new bricks in the UK is 1.4 billion a year.

Traditional brick clamp
Drawing showing process of 'winning' clay from construction sites

The addition of certain waste materials to clay lowers the need for higher-firing temperatures in the kiln, reducing the amount of fuel required to make the bricks. Some of the bricks we produce also absorb carbon dioxide after firing, which contributes to a harder final product and further reduced carbon footprint.

Hand-thrown brick in its mould
Waste-based brick
Waste-based brick
Waste-based brick
Timber 'frog' mould for bricks
Freshly made clay brick
Dark waste-based bricks
Dark waste-based bricks
Waste-based bricks
Freshly made waste-based brick
Freshly made waste-based bricks
Detail of brick (unfired)