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City to cut use of unbaked bricks

Update: June, 05/2012 - 10:12

HCM CITY — Using unbaked construction materials to replace traditional baked clay bricks will soon become an indispensable development trend, according to the HCM City Department of Construction.

It says the production of baked clay bricks, which consumes large areas of farmland, is not tenable in the long run as it would affect food security.

Furthermore, a lot of fossil coal and firewood is used to produce the baked materials, which can cause deforestation, environmental pollution and ecological imbalance.

Unbaked construction materials can be produced from industrial refuse, contributing to protecting the environment and saving fuel, says Phan Duc Nhan, deputy director of the department.

In addition, because they are lightweight, unbaked materials can help speed up work, reduce manpower, accelerate construction progress, cut management costs and offer better efficiency for investors, he says.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung recently ordered ministries, industries and localities to enhance the use of unbaked construction materials and restrict production and use of baked clay bricks.

In response, the HCM City Department of Construction has prepared a draft circular on encouraging and expanding the use of unbaked construction materials in the city.

It encourages all economic sectors to use modern technology and observe environmental standards in producing unbaked construction materials like autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC), foam concrete, 3D construction sheets and plasterboard wall sheets.

The city's efforts to promote the production and use of unbaked construction materials have achieved limited results, the department admits.

It says the materials have not been widely used in the country because of high prices and the long-standing habit of using traditional baked bricks.

In addition, technical standards relating to product quality, design, construction and appraisal of projects that use unbaked materials have not been established.

Investors and unbaked material producers have not understood the Government's investment incentives in producing unbaked materials.

The department has called for policies that oblige property developers to use unbaked materials in their projects as well as those that support enterprises in providing relevant training for workers.

It says sanctions should be applied to organisations and individuals for not using unbaked materials in their construction projects.

According to the department's draft circular, State-funded projects such as hospitals and schools are obliged to use unbaked materials.

Projects that have nine floors or more, irrespective of the source of their investment capital, must prioritise use of lightweight unburned materials, ensuring that these account for at least 30 per cent of the total materials used.

The construction department is presently collecting opinions from other departments, industries and district authorities on the draft circular before submitting it to the municipal administration for consideration and approval. — VNS

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