From digging to building: construction site excavations make perfect, low-emission new bricks

BC materials
Type of organisation or company
Language for original content
Key Area
Project elaborated in partnership
Cooperative Funding
Anton Maertens

Every year in Belgium 37 million tons of earth streams are excavated and usually dumped in mines and quarries, hundreds of kilometers away from the site - not only a very unproductive activity (with hundreds of trucks on the road every day), but also a waste of very valuable materials. BC materials estimates that at least 16 (out of the above 37) million tons could be used as building materials.

At its Brussels production site, BC materials blends and transforms ordinary earth streams - considered by some as waste - into perfectly circular building materials, such as clay plasters, compressed earth blocks and rammed earth.

The production process is CO2-neutral, as it does not need high heating mechanisms, contrary to other building materials. And the products are perfectly circular: in origin, as they were originally 'waste', and in destination, as the materials are not chemically altered and can be reused an infinity of times.

Earth materials also offer better acoustics (4 times better than classic gypsum, according to ASTM tests), air quality (through humidity regulation) and thermal mass (temperature mitigation).

BC materials provides advice, training and workshops.

Main activity field
Identified challenge (s)
Main results
  • Reduce: BC materials uses excavation earths, thus actively reducing the amount of landfilling (and consequent transportation).
  • Recover: BC materials can work on the spot with its mobile production site and recover the earth where it lies, to transform it into (new) compressed earth bricks and build where the earth was originally situated.
  • Recycle: BC materials upcycles excavation earths by mixing them with the right (other) earth streams to make bricks that are healthier, more acoustic and circular than standard material.
  • Reuse: BC materials transforms and blends different earth streams to circular products that are infinitely reusable. Its earth blocks are made without a chemical process and can be reused in whichever way owners want, without chemical treatment or fossil fuels.