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  • Last Update : 03:02 am

Brick by brick

  • Published at 05:30 pm December 8th, 2018
Bricks
Photo: RAJIB DHAR

Continuing to rely on traditional bricks could have a serious, damaging impact on our economy

One of the many challenges of living in a city like Dhaka is putting up with inordinately high levels of pollution -- specifically air pollution -- and the chief culprits in that regard are the many brick kilns situated at the outskirts of the city.

Convention states that bricks are needed in all kinds of construction work, but there is no reason why we have to continue using conventional bricks in doing so.

It is time for eco-friendly bricks to come into play.

The traditional brick is made by burning soil, specifically topsoil from arable land. According to the Bangladesh Brick Manufacturing Owners Association, around 7,000 soil-burning brick kilns produce around 25 billion bricks every year, consuming over 1.27 billion cubic feet of topsoil.

On top of the dangerous levels of air pollution that these brick kilns result in, the manufacturing process leaves good, arable land barren for more than three years.

Given that our economy is heavily based around agriculture, continuing to rely on traditional bricks could have a serious, damaging impact on our economy further down the line.

To that end, it is heartening to know that the government is pushing for increased use of alternative bricks -- such as Compressed Stabilized Earth Blocks, Interlocking CSEB, Concrete Hollow Block, Thermal Block, to name a few -- which maintain environmental integrity through the relatively low ecological footprint of their manufacturing process.

It is also encouraging to see that a lot of companies, both local and foreign, are quickly starting to adopt these new technologies.

Bangladesh has many projects in the pipeline, and they will require construction material -- let us proceed in a way that does not hurt our soil or our environment.

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