Q3 2013 European Architectural Barometer report

Clay bricks regarded as some of the most sustainable façade products

Clay bricks have a very convincing image as the most sustainable façade product. Wood is seen as the most sustainable product in Great Britain, but the same material has a contradictory image in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. These are some of the conclusions of the Q3 2013 European Architectural Barometer report, a quarterly survey of 1 600 architects in eight European countries. The survey is conducted in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland. European architects act as a leading indicator for construction activity.

When architects are asked for the most and least sustainable façade materials/ products, three materials are mentioned as the most sustainable: clay bricks, wood and stone. It should be noted that architects hardly ever question the sustainability of bricks. Especially in countries like Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium, these products are strongly related to a sustainability image.

Not the same, however, can be said about wood: in France, the Netherlands and Belgium, architects seem to have opposing opinions. Wood is referred to as the most as well as the least sustainable material. The same can be said about concrete, in France.

In general, concrete and façade panels (composite or HPL) often find their place among the least sustainable materials and products.

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