Australian brick manufacturers are Australia’s largest brick manufacturers, with Redland Brick, an American brick maker, having a production capacity of up to 250 million bricks per year, with sales of around 80 million bricks per year. Brickworks is the largest brick producer in Australia, comprising four divisions: Building Products Australia, Building Products North America, Industrial Assets, and Investments. From being just two states’ worth of Australian building products manufacturers, Brickworks Building Products has grown to become one of Australia’s largest construction products companies, as well as on the continent.
During this time, Brickworks Limited took over Austral Bricks, becoming one of Australias largest brick manufacturers. The company Brickworks Limited was established, focusing on marketing and distribution of bricks and clay products. Manly Brick & Tile Company, the quarry which had failed to survive the Depression, was left with millions of bricks in stock, which was then purchased by Clay Industries Limited, a branch of Brickworks Limited.
Still to be dug up were deposits of workable clay needed to make bricks. Wooden brick molds for shaping the clay into unbaked bricks were also stored at the site, though almost all types of construction tools were missing, for reasons still not clear. For centuries, clay construction products were used throughout the exterior of the building, as bricks, blocks, roof tiles, and paving stones.
Companies in this sector produce clay paving blocks and bricks (excluding refractory bricks). The industry comprises approximately 50 brick manufacturing plants operated by 20 firms, though it includes some very small regional brickworks serving niche construction markets. The firms run 28 production and distribution sites across Australia.
Brickworks also has a significant real estate arm, including an industrial real estate trust with the ASX-listed Goodman Group, where it has a strong need for storage space for companies involved in the electronic retail sector. Brickworks building products North America unit, Australia’s largest, is a leading brick manufacturer in the northeastern United States, including Brickworks North American affiliate Glen-Gery. In addition to being Australia’s largest construction materials company, Brickworks, Australia’s largest brick manufacturer.
Chairman Mark Ellenor said the purchase was strategically significant for the parent company, giving Brickworks a larger Midwest presence and expanding the network of distribution locations owned by the company from 10 to 27. The Australian brick maker expected that the acquisition would deliver 3 percent earnings per share growth over three years, once the synergies between the companies are realized. Brickworks’ managing director highlighted these Australian brick manufacturers acquisitions as opportunities for the business to increase its role in building activities.
A joint company statement explained brick demand has been experiencing a sustained structural contraction in Australia, with bricks becoming a smaller part of the wider cladding market. Despite overall growth in building activity during the period, overall Australian brick output has fallen by 46% since the peak in 1981, according to Boral and CSR. The overall volume of bricks produced with clay is expected to decline an annualized 0.4 percent in the five years through 2014-15, to 1.47 billion Standard Brick Equivalents (SBEs). The performance of operators in Australia’s clay brick production sector is thus strongly affected by trends in the construction of new dwellings.
Building Products Australia is the major Australian producer and distributor of building products, which before 2002 consisted of brick production alone across NSW and Queensland. Building Products Australia includes Austral Bricks (the largest brick producer in the country), as well as other brands like Austral Masonry, Austral Precast, and Bristile Roof.
The fundamental principles behind brick production are pretty uniform throughout the industry, but individual manufacturers adapt their manufacturing to suit their specific raw materials, operations, and product requirements. Some manufacturers, such as Littlehampton, employ a variety of different brick mixes, clays, shapes, and sizes, to produce something that is truly custom-made. Littlehampton clay bricks and paving are fired in Littlehampton’s traditional, small-batch furnaces, giving every product a distinct character, texture, and quality, the company is known for throughout Australia and around the world.
The structural integrity and longevity of the clay bricks allow clay-based construction to weather harsh conditions, whilst protecting building structures against dampness and debris blown by winds. Clay bricks and tiles are deeply embedded in Australia’s cultural history and architectural identity, with countless examples of iconic clay-built structures throughout the nation.
Just a stone’s throw away on Campbell Rd, which forms the southern edge of Sydney Park, is the site of the Central Brick and Tile Company, a major producer and a local employer. In time, an industry of considerable significance came to be owned by another local company, the Austral Brick Company, operating further up the road in lands stretching from the Junction of Canal Road and the Princes Highway (formerly Cooks River Road) up to Cowper Street. These included the former Bedford Brick Works, the Warren Brick Company, Carrington Brick Company, St. Peters Brick Company, and City Brick Company.
While this made bricks more accessible, there were downsides to mass production. After commercial gas provider Weston Energy went bust at the end of May, forcing them to go on retailer-of-last-resort Energy Australia, the brick maker, Advance Bricks, can no longer afford the electricity bills, said managing director John Collins. Managing director John Collins says local manufacturer Advance Bricks, went from paying between $6-$8 per gigajoule for gas overnight to over $37 per gigajoule, and no other gas retailer was able to provide bricks as Energy Australia was the only other retailer that had access to a pipeline.