Over the last years, a detailed analysis of the environmental impacts of clay brick production and utilisation in South Africa was commissioned by the Clay Brick Association (CBA) of South Africa and Swisscontact, co-funded by the National Research Foundation and conducted by the Department of Architecture at the University of Pretoria (UP).
The study, under the leadership of Prof Piet Vosloo, was performed using specific production data obtained from 86 of the 102 clay brick production sites in South Africa which are members of the CBA. The analysis was conducted in accordance with the ISO 14040 and 14044 standards, coupled with an external review in order to achieve the highest quality standards. A second and parallel study compared the thermal performance of the six most frequently used wall construction methods over three building typologies and over the six South African climatic regions. In accordance with the ISO 14040 and 14044 standards, UP produced two extensive reports tailored for environmental experts, summarising the results and describing the methodology, data basis and all assumptions.
In order to facilitate the dissemination of the findings of the reports among the members of the CBA and stakeholders that may lack expertise in environmental assessment, Swisscontact contracted Quantis to, in collaboration with UP, extract the most relevant results from the main report and consolidate these in a separate document.
The project resulted in two papers presented at international conferences, the awarding of an Honours and MSc degree to a research assistant, as well as three research reports titled:
Vosloo, P.T., Harris, H., Holm, D., van Rooyen, C.J. & Rice, G.A. (2016a). Life Cycle Assessment of clay brick walling in South Africa - The Clay Brick Association of South Africa: Technical Report 7A. In two volumes, prepared by the Department of Architecture, University of Pretoria for the Clay Brick Association of South Africa. ISBN 978-1-77592-113-4.
Vosloo, P.T., Harris, H., Holm, D., van Rooyen, C.J. & Rice, G.A. (2016b). A Thermal Performance Comparison between six wall construction methods frequently used in South Africa - The Clay Brick Association of South Africa: Technical Report 7B. Prepared by the Department of Architecture, University of Pretoria for the Clay Brick Association of South Africa. ISBN 978-1-77592-114-1.
Del Duce, A., Vosloo P.T. & Rice, G.A. 2017. Environmental impacts of clay bricks in South Africa. Management Summary and consolidation report of the LCA study titled 'Life Cycle Assessment of clay brick walling in South Africa'. Prepared for the Clay Brick Association of South Africa by Quantis and UP Department of Architecture and funded by Swisscontact.