Do bricks need a new “hue”? – Classifying bricks as a sustainable construction product

The term sustainability counts among today‘s most definitive topics. For years now, there has been intensifying debate over sustainably viable societal development and, in proximate connection with that, over the sustainability of our built-up environment. The construction and real estate sector is finding itself increasingly confronted with public demands for ecologically and economically optimized buildings and structures. In order to meet the relevant criteria, real estate ser­vice providers and investors are imposing strict requirements on building planners and construction material producers. This contribution probes the current state of sustainability debate in the construction sector and illuminates a number of ways to portray different levels of sustainability, in particular for bricks.

1 Sustainability label

Sustainability has become an omnipresent term. It is used in numerous contexts and denotations. According to definition, and as illustrated in »1, the term sustainability describes the equally weighted consideration of the ecological, economic and socio-cultural aspects of a product or course of action. The aim is to achieve cross-generational fairness and ­equity driven by the precept that only as much resources be consumed, that future generations will still be able to satisfy their own needs [1].

In the construction sector, the term sustainability was long equated...

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