The HCM City People's Committee has approved a circular on the use of unbaked bricks in local buildings, aiming to boost the production and use of "green" building materials.

Under the circular (No. 04/2013/CT-UBND) that will take effect this year and apply until 2015, buildings with nine floors or more have to use unbaked bricks for at least 30 percent of their construction needs. After 2015, the percentage will increase to at least 50 percent.

The municipal administration has asked the Department of Construction to disseminate details and guidelines on the use of unbaked bricks.

Increased use of unbaked bricks can reduce the area of agricultural land used to dig up clay to make conventional bricks. It can also save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Unbaked bricks are not popular because they are priced higher than normal ones.

To improve the situation, local authorities have promised to give priority to encouraging and supporting investors involved in the production of unbaked bricks.

The Ministry of Construction also issued Circular No.09/2012/TT-BXD last year on the use of unbaked materials in construction.

Under the circular, State-funded construction projects in "third-tier" cities (a classification based on population density, urbanisation level and other criteria) have to use unbaked materials from January onwards.

Other buildings are required to use unbaked materials for 50 percent of their construction needs. After 2015, unbaked materials will be used for all constructions.

Vietnam consumes about 20 billion of bricks per year and is expected to need 42 billion bricks by 2020, according to the Vietnam Association for Building Materials. -VNA