Removing burnt bricks Black carbon is a major problem Poor working conditions Working conditions




In 1927 Alois Habla, a German engineer whose family as brick proprietors with a 200 year history of making bricks, invented the original arch less Habla Zig-Zag kiln. His design replaced the expensive, commercially unsustainable arched Burher Kiln.

One of only four commercial kilns ever invented, the authentic Habla Zig-Zag Kiln remains today the most recently invented commercial brick kiln. Specifically designed for fuel efficiency and improved working conditions, 150 kilns were successfully constructed and operated as continuous commercial kilns pre-war in the USA, Europe, England and post-war Australia.

The Habla Zig-Zag Kiln was proven at that time to produce a uniform brick in quality, colour and texture. The forced draught kiln operated with a unique, Zig-Zag design and capacities ranging from 10,000-100,000 bricks per day. Prior to the war technical journals described an 80% fuel cost reduction Nashville, Tennessee, USA. In Europe and the USA the post war focus became the minimization of labour costs and large scale production. As a result, the fully automated, expensive tunnel kiln, dependent on skilled labour and a reliable electricity supply, gained popularity. Due to increasing automation, European labour shortages and cost of labour at the time, the Habla Zig- Zag Kiln technology was superseded.

A kiln called "The Habla Kiln" was built in Rookee, India during in 1967/1968. The design lacked authenticity and performance. Drawings used were out dated and inaccurate, they resulted in incomplete and poorly performing copies. In 1994 following challenges from the Habla family these kilns were renamed "The Indian High Draught Kiln".

The original Habla Zig-Zag technology was approved by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization Labour Office (UNIDO/ILO) in 1984 and again in 1998.

Comprehensive reports (2011–2015) from numerous international entities state that the Zig-Zag Design concept and technology is a key option for black carbon mitigation, CO2 reduction, replacement of existent polluting kiln technologies, due to economy of construction and reductions in fuel consumption.

The precise replication of the Habla Zig-Zag kiln technology is crucial to its performance, this, with its authentic design features were the key to earlier commercial successes.

Cutting CO2 emissions in brick-making

The successful conclusion of the in-depth research study is a significant achievement for the Energy Efficient Clay Brick (EECB) Project, a CBA initiative funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented in South Africa by Swisscontact.

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