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Don't tell us there aren't enough bricks

Recent statements from both the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply and the Brick Development Association have provoked a lot of discussion in the industry about brick supply.

But we have invested to ensure current demand – as well as future construction sector growth – can be seamlessly satisfied.

“We are bringing an additional 100m bricks to the UK market per year – the equivalent to building around 15,000 new homes” 

Andrew Halstead-Smith, Ibstock

Brick has a long and proud history as the number one construction material of choice. More than 80 per cent of new houses are clad in brick and this is for a number of very good reasons.

The versatility of brick and its unrivalled options make it stand out. Ibstock alone makes around 500 different types of brick and will release more designs into the market this year.

In preparation for the anticipated growth of construction and subsequent continued demand for this popular building product, we invested across our production facilities.

This continues with £55m invested in our factory bringing an additional 100m bricks to the UK market per year – the equivalent to building around 15,000 new homes.

Close partnership

However, analysing sheer volume produced doesn’t paint a true picture of how the brick industry is helping to satisfy demand.

“These investments are ensuring the brick industry provides the materials needed for construction to keep pace with projects”

It is also about working closely in partnership with construction professionals and merchants to get them the bricks they need, when they need them, and identifying popular orders to build up stock accordingly – a task we are already carrying out.

We have invested in our vehicle fleet to ensure delivery times are shorter to keep pace with demand.

Technology is also being employed to help contractors obtain the bricks they require – for example, through a 48-hour despatch to merchants on a range of special-shaped bricks through an online system that speeds up the service to contractors.

These initiatives and investments across production facilities are ensuring the brick industry provides the materials needed for construction to keep pace with projects, while also helping deliver the government’s wish to construct an additional 400,000 new affordable homes by 2020.

Andrew Halstead-Smith is group marketing manager at Ibstock

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