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Technical Note #02 Life Cycle Assessment of Masonry Walling

A discussion paper on the 'Life Cycle Assessment of Masonry Walling' to be conducted by the Clay Brick Association of South Africa (CBA).

The job creation, both direct and indirect, and the heightened energy performance and environmental awareness, have enabled the CBA to take the ‘high ground’ in terms of ‘owning the sustainability jacket’ and re-branding the industry as being synonymous with ‘green’. The image of the industry is one of progressive and proactive practices.

This position is earned by the various marketing activities undertaken by the CBA, and a strong market presence, and by supporting these activities with good science, contribution to National Standards development, product testing and investments by the brick manufacturers in the correct technologies.

The CBA is the 'Voice of the Clay Brick industry' and the CBA brand one of jealously guarded integrity. The CBA Technical Committee has been set up to provide the industry with the necessary resources to explain and support industry claims, and to prevent any possibility of the industry being labelled as ‘greenwashing’. The decisions of building material specifiers are being more and more influenced by the societal need for longterm sustainability, and clients who wish to be leading or part of this, are moving towards making decisions that ‘tread more lightly on the planet’.

Clay Brick, as a product has good environmental credentials when compared with steel and aluminium (based on international research), and the same data needs to be available for the industry and clients to know where Clay Brick masonry stands compared with the competition, in order to see where improvements can and should be made.

The work which has been done by the CBA Technical Committee, to date, has ensured that this information is available to the specifier, as well as the Association members, and keeps the CBA ahead of the competition in terms of strategic issues. In order to maintain this leadership position, the CBA Technical Committee will be promoting an ambitious project in terms of size of task, cost and duration: An Industry Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).

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