Europe’s clay brick and tile industry meets for the TBE Annual Meeting in Leuven

Around 100 executives from the European clay brick and tile industry met for the 63rd TBE Annual Meeting in Leuven, Belgium, on 1 and 2 June. They had taken up the invitation of the Royal Dutch Association for Building Ceramics (KNB) and the Belgian Brick Association (BBF), which co-hosted this year’s congress.

Meetings of the TBE Product and Working Groups

On the first day of the Congress, representatives of the various TBE working groups met with each other. The meetings of the Roofing Tile Product Group and the Masonry Product Group kicked off the event in the morning, followed by the meetings of the TBE Joint Environmental and Technical Working Group in the second half of the day. The Working Group representatives were able to gain a comprehensive overview of the TBE activities over the past year, especially with regard to standardization, climate, energy, sustainable buildings and the Construction Product Regulations as well as the INSYSME project.

The day was rounded off with a cocktail reception and gala dinner in the Begijnhof. The infirmary built in the 13th century is part of the Unesco World Heritage site, which forms a sort of town within the town. The imposing venue provided an attractive backdrop for international exchange and talks. Ioannis Maliouris, serving TBE President and CEO at B. Maliouris S.A., welcomed the attendees and thanked the Dutch and Belgian associations for their excellent work in organizing and holding the meeting.

Increasing the visibility of the industry

On 2 June, the TBE Executive Committee met. This was followed by the executive meetings of the host associations, BBF and KNB. After these, at the TBE General Assembly, the activities of the years 2014/2015 were presented and an outlook of upcoming activities and projects given.

The new electronic brochures on the advantages of pitched roofs and clay masonry products were presented. The brochures were developed by TBE Working Groups and have now been made available to the TBE members. They will help national members provide builders and architects with comprehensive information and will enable them to select and adapt the information in line with their national needs and situation. Discussions on developments in the EU climate and energy policy, for instance the introduction of the Product Category Rules, followed.

TBE’s participation in the World Sustainable Buildings Conference and the European Masonry Alliance promotes the visibility of the industry and strengthens its external network.

The revision of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) Directive and the study on re-carbonation were then on the agenda. A European Commission initiative on additional indicators for the assessment of buildings and a study on the leaching behaviour of clay aggregates were also tabled for discussion.

Several changes to the internal structure of the TBE were presented and approved. Following six years as TBE President and one year as Vice-President, Heimo Scheuch, CEO Wienerberger AG, has stepped down from the position as TBE Vice-President. He has been replaced by Mirosław Jaroszewicz, Polish Employers Union of Building Ceramics. Pierre Jonnard was named as the next TBE Internal Auditor (replacing Herve Gastinal). The following were named as new members of the TBE Executive Committee: Roland Besnard, Christof Domenig, John Mercer and Wayne Sheppard.

Following three years as Secretary General, Adolfo Aiello, who is taking on a new challenge, has been replaced in this function by Magdalena Vallebona.

Panel discussion on “Sustainable Buildings”

A debate on construction took place in the afternoon with a focus on sustainability, a topic that is central to the European tiles and bricks industry. Six panellists representing key stakeholder groups – architects, academia, demolition and social housing – covered all three pillars of sustainability from environmental to economic and social. The industry believes that the scope of a proper sustainability assessment needs to focus on the entire building, because construction materials are always used as building elements. Moreover, to gain a comprehensive assessment it is essential to consider the whole life cycle of the building and its elements, up to the recycling and re-use phase.

TBE invites the European clay brick and tile industry to the next annual meeting in Switzerland on 23 and 24 June 2016.

Tiles and Bricks Europe – TBE aisbl


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