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We came across Kenoteq as the public vote winner for sustainable design of the year at the Dezeen awards 2022 – Awards identifying the world’s best architecture, interiors and design.  Kenoteq is a clean tech company, specialising in building products. The company’s first product, the K-Briq® is an unfired brick made from more than 90% recycled content from demolition and construction waste as well as recycled pigments to colour the K-Briqs.  It’s great to see a young, UK-based company with a solution to re-using construction waste with a circular business model.

In the UK, construction and maintenance of our built environment, our homes, offices, schools, roads, railways etc, uses up the greatest volume of material resources and also represents the largest waste flows by tonnage.  The sector is also placed as one of the world’s largest producer of CO2 emissions. Recent EU Legislation now requires a minimum of 70% of all construction and demolition waste to be recycled. Vast quantities of recycled material are needing new avenues.

The idea for Kenoteq began with a serendipitous meeting of minds.  The idea was born, when Prof Gabriela Medero, a civil engineer and Professor at Heriot-Watt University  (Edinburgh, Scotland) had a geo-environmental conversation with an industry leader in construction waste management.

After more than a decade of research, Prof Gabriela Medero launched Kenoteq in August 2019, with Co-founder Dr Sam Chapman and the support of Dr Andrew Hosty, now Chairman.


The company’s first product is the K-Briq.  The K-Briq is made from over 90% local recycled construction and demolition waste.  Recycled pigments are used to colour the bricks, with 13 standard colours available.  The base materials are bound together using Kenoteq’s “secret sauce”, a patent protected technology.   The bricks are unfired which means production requires less than 10% of the energy during manufacture and the K-Briq has less than 5% of the carbon footprint of a traditional clay or concrete brick. Supporting a fully circular process, the K-Briq can be entirely recycled into a new K-Briq, supporting the need to significantly lower the carbon footprint of the built environment.

After the rigorous testing and certification required for new building products, Kenoteq is launching its first commercial facility in early 2023.  The facility, is being constructed on the site of a waste recycling facility in East Lothian, reducing transport miles. The business model is to use local waste to make local bricks for local projects. The production capacity estimated for the first factory will be three million bricks per year, with further regional production facilities planned.

Kenoteq has a pipeline of sustainable building products that the company is looking to develop and recently launched slips – tiles that look like bricks – for interior design projects, and is working on brickslip panels, which will be of particular interest to the offsite manufacturing market.  The company is also working on scaling the business across the UK.  They are expecting to do this through partnerships with construction waste companies, using local waste for local building products.  So watch this space!

Kenoteq is also involving itself in the wider construction community, taking part in the UK’s first live trial to test the effectiveness of exoskeleton suits in a working factory environment.  Exoskeleton suits are designed to protect the upper body and back from the strain associated with manual labour.  The number of construction workers suffering from work-related musculoskeletal disorders is much higher than other sectors.  You can find out more about this project on the Heriot Watt University website.


Kenoteq has been very successful in winning a number of prizes, getting the recognition they deserve, including:

As for all young companies, funding is key to moving forward.  The company has benefited from a variety of public sector R&D funding as well as seed investment and Zero Waste Scotland’s Circular Economy Fund to establish initial production, and it is currently working towards Series A funding in 2023.

We wish Kenoteq every success with the opening of its first commercial production facility in 2023 and its future fundraising.  We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on the company’s progress.

You can find out more about Kenoteq and its progress on the company’s website and through its LinkedIn page.

Images courtesy of Kenoteq