The Reston, Va.-based Brick Industry Association (BIA) pointed to winners of its 2011 Brick in Architecture Awards to promote the sustainability of clay brick.
“As a versatile building material made from abundant natural resources, there is no substitute for genuine clay brick,” said Gregg Borchelt, president and CEO of the BIA.
Free of volatile organic compounds and often incorporating recycled content, locally sourced brick reduces the use of fossil fuels. At least two brick plants are located within 500 miles of 49 of the country’s top 50 metropolitan areas, according to the BIA.
Current practices include blending green materials for exteriors, reusing existing walls to extend the lifecycle of the existing building stock and using interior brick walls as part of passive solar design for energy harvesting—brick walls soak up excess solar energy during the day to retain heat and naturally regulate interior temperatures.
Among the houses recognized by a brick award was the Pierce/Lee House in Cedartown, Ga.