Vietnam Sustainable Brickmaking Project (VSBP)

Vietnam Sustainable Brickmaking Project (VSBP), Vietnam


SDC  2002 - 2010


The overall goal of the VSBP was to achieve a replicable program of technical solutions, policy instruments and management tools to assist small-scale brickmakers of Nam Dinh Province in the transformation towards environmentally sound and economically viable forms of production.

At the time, about 80% of fired building material in Vietnam, brick and tile, was produced by small-scale enterprises with extremely negative effects on health and environment, and conflicts between farmers and brick producers. In order to reduce the detrimental impact of traditional kilns, uncontrolled clay exploitation and conflict between farmers and brick manufacturers, the government decreed that traditional kilns were to be terminated from peri-urban areas by 2005 and from all areas by 2010. They were to be replaced by industrial brickmaking.

The Action Research Phase 2002 - 2004 resulted in a detailed analysis of existing environmental, social and economic problems related to brickmaking in Vietnam. A number of technical options, policy instruments and management tools were recommended for implementation. Based on these findings, the project’s implementation phase was carried out in 2005 - 2007, assisting the private brickmaking industry and their related institutions in sustainable brickmaking in Vietnam.

During the Action Research phase, pilot projects were completed and led to the awareness of more technological options – for example channel kiln technology, small size tunnel kiln with fast and slow firing processes etc. – and potential mitigation measures to facilitate the transformation from traditional to sustainable brickmaking. Following a demand responsive approach during VSBP’s implementation in 2005-2007, more pilot projects were implemented in combination with all support activities in order to achieve the above mentioned results.

The key issues for the phase until 2010 were:

  • Energy efficiency improvement in the private brick industry by the introduction of energy efficient and less polluting continuous production processes, which result in better economic performance.
  • Resource efficiency improvement by the introduction of hollow brick production in the private brick industry, which also result in better economic performance.
  • Introduction of good housekeeping, better work organization and environment oriented management in small companies.