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Brick and the Code for Sustainable Homes

The Brick Development Association (BDA) in conjunction with the Building Research Establishment (BRE) is to host a conference ‘Brick and the Code for Sustainable Homes’ at the BRE (Watford, Herts, England) on 24 April 2007. The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining is co-sponsoring the event.

The conference has been designed to give the full range of professionals working in the building industry an insight not only into the Code but also into the broader questions of sustainability. It will give the brick industry an opportunity to show how well its material can respond to the challenges of the Code and how recent developments in manufacturing techniques have created a range of products that are as relevant to the offsite market as brick is to site-based operations.

In the morning the conference will deal with the Code and the ways in which brick can contribute. The session will be opened by Dr Peter Bonfield, Director of Construction at BRE. Peter’s talk will set the context for the day by drawing on his work on the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Olympic Delivery Authority. Detailed considerations of sustainability and the drive towards carbon neutral will be presented by Bill Gethin, Feilden Clegg Architects and the advisor on sustainability to the President of the RIBA.

The second half of the morning will present the case for brick. Michael Driver, Director of the Brick Development Association, will discuss the application of brick to the Code, whilst the crucial questions of durability, affordability and buildability will be tackled by industry experts marshalled by Dr David Hills of Ibstock Brick and supported by Geoff Irvine, Chairman of the Association of Brickwork Contractors. Dr Kristian Steele and Alan Yates of BRE will show how the environmental profiles of the materials will relate to the BRE Environmental Assessment Schemes that underpin the Code.

Lunchtime will provide an opportunity for delegates to visit a series of demonstrations provided by brick manufacturers and members of the Association of Brickwork Contractors. The demonstrations will range from hand throwing of bricks to the laying of glued brickwork; from pre-fabricated units to cladding systems and will also provide ‘DIY’ opportunities in bricklaying.

The afternoon session will examine wider aspects of development. John Callcutt, seconded to the Sustainability Task Force from English Partnerships, has been invited to open the session. He will concentrate on the challenges and opportunities faced by the house building community and will give his own view of the way forward. The Building Research Establishment will report on ‘Smartlife’, a project designed to measure and report on the process differences for construction techniques. Finally, there will be a presentation on sustainable communities from CABE.

The day will close with a forum chaired by Dr Bonfield involving the key speakers from the day. This will provide an opportunity for delegates to air their views and challenge those of the speakers.

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