HA NOI (VNS)— The Ministry of Construction has passed a circular governing the minimum proportion of unbaked brick used in buildings, aiming to boost the production and consumption of green building materials.
Under the circular which takes effect next month, over the next three years, unbaked bricks should account for at least 30 per cent of bricks for buildings with nine floors or more, rising to 50 per cent in the following years.
Any State-funded construction in centrally-run cities will be built entirely from unbaked bricks.
President of the Viet Nam Association for Building Materials Tran Van Huynh said that the use of unbaked bricks could reduce the area of agricultural land used for clay exploitation, thus helping ensure food security.
Unbaked bricks did not require coal to burn, helping save energy and reduce green house gas emissions, he said.
According to the association, Viet Nam consumed about 20 billion of bricks yearly and is expected to need 42 billion bricks by 2020, requiring about 30,000 ha of clay as input material.
In the last two years, 10 light-concrete producing factories have begun production in the country with total capacity of 1.5 million cu.m per year, equal to about 1.05 billion of bricks. In addition, 40 factories have started to produce concrete block bricks, a kind of unbaked brick, with capacity of 30-40 million per year.
However, most unbaked brick producing factories were operating at just 30-40 per cent of their design capacity, Huynh said.
"This is because Vietnamese customers aren't used to using unbaked bricks, they still prefer the baked versions, so we need to educate them about the benefits, he said.
Other experts were concerned that there was still a shortage of incentive policies to encourage investors to engage in unbaked brick production as it required high investment in technology, resulting in higher prices and less competitiveness.
Truong Nhat Linh, head of the Technical and Design Department at Boral Gymsum Viet Nam Ltd Co, said that the company was applying a modern technology called flue-gas desulfurisation to produce gypsum but it was struggling to offer competitive prices as the technology required more costs for research and application.
Le Hoai An, director of Khang Minh Joint Stock Brick Company, said that changing customers' awareness and consumption habits were a challenge.
The company had made efforts to promote its products among consultation firms and architects so that unbaked bricks could be included in new designs. — VNS