The brick manufacturing sector in North America has been drastically affected by the poor economy over the last year. The impact on the residential “red brick” sector has been the most extreme. Restrictions on travel and continuing education are in place, so that the 55th Clemson Brick Forum is seeking additional ways to deliver its educational product, and the Forum is reaching out to a “non-traditional audience”.
For the second year, the Forum is offering a delayed web cast of the presentations. The price of the web cast has been reduced to about 106 € ($150 USD), with a lower price available for persons with an affiliate company that is a member of the National Brick Research Center (USA). The web cast is available for one year after the conclusion of the Forum. The technical program and registration information is available at www.brickandtile.org. Persons or companies in North America can view the entire Forum on the web cast if they register and send at least one individual to the Forum.
The theme for this year’s Forum is “Greener Brick Manufacturing” and reflects the growing interest in green or sustainable buildings in North America. Of course, the Forum also features lectures on manufacturing of bricks and performance of clay masonry. With respect to green manufacturing, the Brick Industry Association (USA) offers on-line training and resources for architects. Now, the National Brick Research Center offers “Certification” of recycled content in brick products as an independent assessment of a brick manufacturer’s practices toward sustainability.
Based on this interest in sustainability, the Forum has invited Brick Sales and Marketing personnel to attend the Forum’s Monday Session on green manufacturing in a special “one-day registration”. Further, members of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) who attend that session will receive continuing education credits for their attendance at the session.
Even in an economic downturn, education remains critically important for commercial success. In North America, the universities are no longer teaching students about heavy clay processing. This gives the Forum a special responsibility to preserve and teach the old technologies with interpretation using modern science.
Now, we are forced to look for new streams of revenue for our Forum. We are doing this by marketing our meeting to people other than manufacturers. Our commitment to manufacturers remains very strong, and our motivation remains to provide low cost education. I invite everyone to consider our delayed web cast.
It remains a real privilege for me to work with brick people everywhere.
Denis Brosnan, Professor and Program Director
Clemson University (USA)
The Clemson Brick Forum