The Brick Development Association's new standard makes it easier for specifiers and end users to identify responsible manufacturers and quality clay products post-Brexit
The Brick Development Association (BDA) has launched a new Brickmakers Quality Charter (BQC) to provide the UK supply chain from client to end user with assurances about the products, manufacturing and ethical standards of clay brick manufacturers.
Any clay brick manufacturer can apply for the Charter irrespective of where they operate. To be approved and accepted, companies must demonstrate compliance to a range of existing internationally recognised protocols and standards. They are:
1. Quality Management System (ISO 9001)
2. Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products (BES 6001)
3. Energy Management Systems (ISO 50001)
4. Environmental Management (ISO 14001)
5. Occupational Health and Safety (ISO 45001 or the British Ceramic Federation Health and Safety Pledge)
6. Employment Practice System (that meets the brickmaker's National Standard)
7. Modern Slavery Policy and Procedures (that meets the brickmaker's National Standard)
8. Construction Product Regulation compliance in all clay brick products (CE mark or UKCA/UKNI mark to BS EN 771-1)
The BQC also aims to help firms meet any new requirements that emerge following the anticipated introduction of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards. It is supported in the UK by the Builders Merchants Federation, the Association of Brickwork Contractors and others.
'The Charter provides merchants and customers with a valuable short cut to identifying responsible clay brick and other clay product manufacturers,' says BDA chief executive, Keith Aldis. 'The UK has seen a growth in imported bricks from a global supply chain of which little is known. With a post-Brexit focus on self-reliance, coupled with international co-operation through competitive trade, there is greater room for error when purchasing and using clay bricks from unregulated and largely unrecognised sources. We want to make sure that the UK and European clay brick sector continues to enjoy the high reputation it has built up over decades.'
All clay brick manufacturers wishing to apply for the BQC will require an initial desktop audit of relevant certifications. Those meeting the basic requirements will be awarded the Charter at one of three levels, which allow firms to improve while recognising that they meet the basic requirements.
By launching its Charter, the BDA wants to ensure clay brick is manufactured, marketed, sold and used with due diligence and with assurances provided to clients, specifiers and customers. 'Clay brick is one of the few building materials proven to last for centuries,' says Aldis. 'We want there to be no question mark over its consistent quality.'
The BDA is the national authority on clay bricks. It collates authoritative data on UK clay brick production, distribution and sustainability. It is a source of impartial, expert information and its members provide free technical guides and CPDs. It can advise procurement teams on how best to manage the supply of bricks, architects on design specifications and on-site teams about good site practice and workmanship.
To apply for the Brickmakers Quality Charter, visit brick.org.uk/charter-application
For more information and technical support, visit brick.org.uk
020 7323 7034