Canadian Contractor

Arcana Restoration commissions study on carbon footprint of reclaimed bricks


July 29, 2020
By Arcana Restoration

Build Topics

Northern Climate Pathways Inc. has been commissioned by Arcana Restoration Ltd, a Toronto-based heritage masonry restoration company, to show that reclaimed bricks used on its projects have a production carbon footprint that is 79 times smaller than newly fabricated bricks.

“People are demanding projects be built in the most environmentally sustainable way and re-used construction materials reduce carbon emissions significantly,” Daniel Arellano, owner of Arcana Restoration, said.

The carbon footprint reporting completed by Northern Climate Pathways, using “cradle-to-gate” modeling, highlights the environmental benefit of using reclaimed bricks and compares the carbon footprint of reclaimed bricks, newly produced bricks, and hydraulic lime mortar.

“We were excited to work with Arcana Restoration because they provide a high-quality product that is also sustainable. The approach of highlighting a product’s environmental footprint is what consumers are looking for because they’re concerned about climate change and they want to reduce their carbon footprint,‘’ said John Latimer, President of Northern Climate Pathways Inc.

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The data supports that re-using existing building materials is more environmentally sustainable than purchasing new, and will help Arcana Restoration better understand the company’s carbon footprint. In a typical year, Arcana Restoration will use an estimated 10,000 reclaimed bricks that are sourced from demolition sites and this will result in an annual estimated savings of 4,480 kgCO2 e, which is the equivalent to burning 2,250 kg of coal, the carbon sequestration from a 2.5 hectare forest for one year, or driving 17,900 kilometers in an average passenger vehicle.

“We looked at the brickmaking process from the raw materials, drying in the kiln to delivery to get a cradle-to-gate analysis of the bricks,” Latimer said. He noted Arcana sources most of its reclaimed bricks from local providers which also reduces the footprint.

”Having data to support the much-lower carbon footprint of reclaimed brick and lime mortar will help our customers make an informed choice when deciding why to work with us and when specifying material for their project,” Arellano said.

Both Arcana Restoration and Northern Climate Pathways are passionate about the work that they do and they have a vision for a more sustainable future for the construction industry through the re-valuing of reclaimed building materials. One brick at a time.


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