Big Interview: Keith Aldis

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Keith Aldis

Showhome Editor, Roshini Bains, sits down Keith Aldis the Chief Executive Officer of the Brick Development Association discusses industry trends and more.

  1. Could you provide me with some background into the association? 

The idea of an association was seeded in 1955 in by an agreement between the then Government Minister of Works and the clay brick industry to administer the balance remaining on the “Care and Maintenance Fund” set up by the Government during the War years. Once this fund had drained, the industry decided to carry on funding technical advice and other services for the benefit of the wider construction industry and in 1964, the BDA as we know it, was formed.  We are a small ‘technical’ trade association comprising 12 of the 15 brickmakers in the UK, that is responsible for about 98% of clay brickmaking in the UK. 

2. How does your association support its members? 

Primarily, we provide technical advice to architects, specifiers and others engaged in the use of clay brick – particularly when a new product or process comes on-line such as brick slip systems, which are proving very popular. 

Our role is to market and promote and occasionally celebrate good practice in the use of our member’s products. And that is the key benefit they get. Architects are notoriously wary of ‘hard’ sales and so when we promote clay brick, in the generic sense, without promoting one member’s product over another, it works for them.   

We do cover several other things such as collating industry statistics, helping to develop and maintain European and British standards, delivering seminars, CPDs and other events and we also designed and promote the global Brickmakers Quality Charter.  

 3. How integral is your association in the UK and housing sector? 

Fortunately, we have excellent links with the housebuilders.  About 80% of all new build housing uses clay brick as its main outer leaf, so it’s an important market for our members.  And it’s our job to make sure that we engage with people like the Home Building Federation and other builders, to ensure the continued availability and relevance of clay brick.  We are working, like many others on the new Future Homes Standard (FHS) which will determine how homes will be built in the future and this is very exciting.  I’m pleased to say that clay brick will continue to play a key role in helping to insulate homes in the future. 

 4. What are your technical guides and what benefits to they provide to your members?  

We provide a whole series of technical and general guides on the correct use and application of clay brick from reuse and recycling, through to sustainability and information on how clay bricks are made.  Our ‘Guide to Successful Brickwork’ which was recently updated in 2020, (often called the ‘Brick Bible’ by many) is a key source of help to bricklayers and specifiers.  All publications except for the Guide to Successful Bricklaying, are free for people to download and use on our website. 

Read more of the latest developments in our new edition: January – February 2022 Issue Form – Show Home Magazine (

Media contact

Roshini Bains,
Editor, Showhome Magazine
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 922


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