One of Europe’s largest producers of bricks, Vandersanden has launched a range of coated bricks and hopes to expand into the UK market while maintaining its strong track record in sustainability.
Vandersanden is a family-owned Belgian business that specialises in manufacturing facing bricks, which it describes as ‘the business card for your architecture’ creating warmth and character to any building where they are used.
Vandersanden is one of Europe’s largest brick manufacturers. Its products enable architects to create attractive and sustainable facades.
The company has set its sights firmly on the UK market for a few years now. “It’s a competitive marketplace but we have built a business that is in line with the step change in how buildings are now being designed and the materials architects use,” says Vandersanden marketing manager Roland Classen.
Vandersanden’s innovative coated bricks sees a special liquid added to the bricks after the firing process to make them water repellant.
To this end, Vandersanden is presenting a range of coated bricks at Architect@Work’s London edition. Because the recipe for mortar has changed, this means bricks are more susceptible to efflorescence, a discolouration which occurs when rain transfers from the mortar to the brick. “This is quite an ugly patina and not one architects want on their buildings for the next fifty years or so,” says Classen. Vandersanden applies a special liquid to the bricks after the firing process to make them water repellent. “We have invested 35 million euros in these manufacturing facilities, with a 25-year guarantee on coated on gypsum efflorescence.” The result of using coated bricks is attractive facades that are better protected from the elements too.
Vandersanden’s coated bricks avoids discolouration of a facade as shown here, as this product prevents small particles of water from entering the brick via the gypsum mortar.
In addition to showing new products, Vandersanden believes in giving architects a chance to learn more about bricks from the company’s technical team at its CPD presentations, set up with RIBA in the UK. These explore subjects such as the origins and anatomy of brick, the main brick types and commonly used configurations and bonding patterns.
Vandersanden’s range of coated bricks stop them from being susceptible to efflorescence, a discolouration which occurs when rain transfers from the mortar to the brick.
Classen continues, “If you choose Vandersanden products, you are aligning with our core values of innovation and sustainability.” The company has made great strides in becoming greener as evidenced by its 2020 sustainability report. Corporate wellbeing initiatives include a decrease of 25% in C02 emissions thanks to its tunnel kiln in Tolkamer, a village in the Netherlands. It aims to decrease its environmental impact between 2020 and 2023.
Vandersanden’s range of CPDs shows the possibilities of brick in terms of colour and pattern.
“We are a family-owned business, we don’t look to the short term,” says Classen finally. “We don’t invest for years, we invest for generations.”
All images © Vandersanden