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The housebuilding sector in the UK is facing two major challenges: how to reduce carbon emissions to reach the government’s Net Zero goals, and how to ensure consistency of supply to meet the growing demand for housing. While these challenges are undoubtedly big, they can be tackled by bringing the whole supply chain together.

At Jewson we work hard with our suppliers to provide tradespeople with products which help them to work efficiently, as well as improving the sustainability credentials of their projects. While concrete bricks might not have seemed the obvious choice for this in the past, a lot has changed.

Here, Dean Harris, managing director of Marshalls Bricks and Masonry, explains how his company is innovating when it comes to the manufacturing of these products in order to support the trade in meeting the challenges it is facing.

Consistency is key

Ensuring a quality, useable product time after time is something we pride ourselves on achieving. To put this to the test, we recently conducted some real-life, on-site trials with brickies. Those who took part said the bricks were easy to cut and shape using hand tools, and that productivity was in line with industry standards of 20-22 courses a day. They also found that the weight of the concrete bricks was similar to facing bricks made from other materials – a key factor when it comes to usability.

Concrete bricks also deliver when it comes to looks. The advances in pigment technologies mean that our products are colour stable throughout their lifetime, so the old-fashioned view that concrete bricks fade doesn’t need to be a concern.

Sustainable manufacturing

Beyond consistency, our manufacturing process also offers a greater peace of mind for tradespeople who are looking to make more sustainable choices.

Marshalls bricks are cured and not fired in a kiln, which results in a big reduction in the energy required throughout the process when compared with other products on the market. Water consumption during the manufacturing process is also minimal and raw materials are generally sourced within 50 miles of our manufacturing sites, reducing the need for transportation.

The benefits extend beyond the products’ creation as concrete bricks will continually absorb CO2 throughout their lifetime.

Marshalls bricks are available in two forms, three finishes – stock, sand-faced and vintage – and in a wide range of traditional and contemporary colours. With almost 80 choices, we’re sure we have a product that’s a perfect fit for your next project.

See Marshalls’ product range here.