Brick slips – a practical solution

The humble brick. An icon of British construction. Reports that the shortage in traditional brick supplies is causing significant problems across the industry are widespread. Aliva UK MD, James Ormerod, explains the role brick slips could play to combat the challenges the sector faces.

Work underway at Middlesex St, London
St Stephen’s Towers, Norwich
St Vincent’s Place, Sheffield

In recent weeks, the industry-wide brick supply crisis has intensified – factories warning of lead times due to material shortages, market pressures, and cancellation rates dropping.

Without doubt, the brick is an icon of British construction and domestic demand will always be there. But what about the clay brick slip? Offering an aesthetic alternative, brick slips offer a practical, more easily available, cost-effective solution to combat the brick crisis.

As the industry leader in full façade system design and supply, we have established relationships with a range of suppliers, producers and factories in the UK and across mainland Europe.

Our strong network means we can help with accessing brick slips in a shorter lead time than traditional bricks. In some cases, this could be eight to 10 weeks compared to the 20 plus weeks waiting time for bricks. At Aliva, we are also not relying on one factory for our brick slips meaning if one provider is experiencing a shortage, we have a network of other manufacturers we can rely on.

Our diversity in our range of slips also matters. Unlike some, we are not bound by a restricted range of slips and we can supply thousands of brick slips, including handmade, to recreate the look and feel of traditional bricks in any colour, texture and size – meaning architects can achieve the aesthetics of conventional brick, but in a more modern, efficient way.

Another advantage of brick slips is that while a spell of bad weather can hold up traditional brick construction, brick slips are installed after the building is watertight. This means although this first stage is weather dependant, construction on the rest of the building will not get held up.

We are all experiencing the challenges of the brick crisis but the industry will benefit by taking a long-term view and embracing the benefits of brick slips.

Here at Aliva, our in-house experts are here to advise and help you decide on the right choice for your architectural project. Find out more about what Aliva UK can do for you by taking a look at our brick slips brochure or contact us on