Experts and the country’s leaders gathered at the conference to discuss Directive 10/CT-TTg aimed to boost use of unbaked building materials and restrict production and use of baked clay bricks.
Phan Van Bac, deputy head of the Department of Building Materials under the construction ministry, said replacing kiln-baked bricks by unbaked materials, typically autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC), can reduce construction costs by 10-12%.
In addition, thanks to their light weight, unbaked materials can help speed up execution, reduce manpower consumption, accelerate construction progress, cut management costs and offer better efficiency to investors, not to mention their eco-friendly feature.
However, although the benefits of unbaked materials are recognized, project developers still prefer baked materials, with up to 93% of housing and civil projects applying baked bricks, leading to poor consumption of unbaked materials.
The State has policy to encourage investment in unbaked building materials, yet specific guidelines, especially on capital lending and tax reduction, have not been provided. A set of criteria for product quality and production technology has not been established, while unit prices and construction norms have yet to be released.
All of these have caused difficulties to enterprises who intend to produce unbaked materials.
Experts estimated that the country consumed about 20 billion bricks every year. With the current growth momentum, it is forecast the demand would surge to 40 billion bricks a year by 2020.
To meet such a demand, a large amount of farmland would be utilized to make baked clay bricks, severely affecting food security. In the meantime, a lot of fossil coal and firewood would be used to produce baked materials, which might cause deforestation, ecological imbalance and environmental pollution.
The Prime Minister has recently allowed the construction ministry to issue synchronous policies in order to promote the use of unbaked materials. Particularly, the State-funded projects such as hospitals and schools are obliged to use unbaked materials, while high-rise buildings must prioritize using lightweight concrete bricks, at least 30% of the total materials needed.