General Meeting of the Brick and Tile Industry

“We have to convey the sustainable benefits of clay bricks and tiles to Brussels”

At this year’s Annual Meeting in Berlin, the members of the Federal Association of the German Brick and Tile Industry (BVZi) appeared optimistic and combative. President Stefan Jungk saw the industry as well placed both on the market and on the road to climate neutrality. A clear regulative framework for the transformation was, however, still lacking. Jungk called on the Association members to press ahead with political communication: “Now, we have to carry on – get involved locally, in the German states, here in Berlin and not least in Brussels. The more people who know about the benefits of brick products, especially with regard to sustainability, the better.” With confirmation of the presidium in office, the course has also been set with regard to the Association’s organization.

 

Dependable thanks to regionality

Despite the difficult circumstances over the past year, brick products had maintained their share of the building materials market. Around one third of all completed residential buildings are built predominantly with clay bricks and roofing tiles. Sales rose by 5.2 percent for masonry bricks and 3.8 percent for roofing tiles. “Bricks are enjoying a lively demand. No doubt, one factor here is, unlike in the case of other products, there have been no supply shortages. “Thanks to its regional bases, the clay brick and roofing tile industry remains a dependable partner for construction firms,” says Dr Matthias Frederichs, General Secretary of the BVZi.

 

Measures for the transformation of the industry

On the road towards climate-neutral production, the branch has made considerable progress this year. With the Roadmap presented in 2050, the relevant measures, costs and external framework conditions to prospectively achieve greenhouse gas-neutral production had been clearly set out. The current Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) had had a positive outcome. Accordingly, the CO2 emissions that are caused by production are around one fifth lower than in 2015. In the energy balance and evaluation of buildings according to Germany’s Buildings Energy Act (GEG), the Federal Association has been supporting architects and building designers since June with a dedicated GEG guideline.

A great concern for the industry was the additional bureaucracy, higher energy and CO2 costs, as well as uncertainty on how the energy transition is to be realized at all. It was still unclear with which sustainable energy sources brick and roofing tile manufacturers should plan on in future and how the green energy infrastructure of the future will actually look.

 

Confirmation of the presidium in office

At the Annual Meeting, the members confirmed the Association President Stefan Jungk in his office, as well as Vice-President Johannes Edmüller and Helmuth Jacobi. Two new elected members have joined the board: Michael Lackner, Production Director for clay at BMI Steildach GmbH, and Dr Sebastian Dresse, Managing Director at Creaton GmbH. In keeping with tradition, the annual report of the clay brick and tile industry for 2021 was presented at the meeting.

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