The construction industry sends millions of tonnes of waste to landfill each year, at significant cost to the environment. Sam wanted to make a difference and help the construction industry find alternative building methods and materials that reduce waste.
Sam studied structural engineering with architectural design at Heriot-Watt University. There he met people who were just as passionate about helping Scotland, and the world, become greener. Together they formed a company, Kenoteq, to change building materials for the better.
Sam and his team developed a new way to make bricks – the K-Briq. Normally, clay bricks need firing in a kiln, using a lot of energy and are made of cement, which has high CO2 emissions. Kenoteq make unfired bricks that do not use cement and a brick is made from 90% of recycled building and construction waste. By being unfired, the bricks produce just 10% of the carbon emissions than traditional bricks and require a lot less energy to make.
The bricks look like normal bricks and weigh about the same, but they have better insulation properties and can be made in any colour. The bricks’ material can be described as ‘breathable’ and this reduces the need for air conditioning, while also helping with humidity. The bricks are also classified as recyclable.
By making bricks greener, Sam is making a difference to how we build for the future.