The brick and cement industry is demanding an urgent meeting with Phil Woolas, the environment minister, after he predicted the death of brick and concrete within 30 years.

Speaking at Ecobuild last week, Woolas said timber frame and hemp and lime were good alternative to concrete and brick.

The remarks provoked an angry response from the industry. Martin Clarke, chief executive of the British Precast Concrete Federation, said: “It’s outrageous that a minister should condemn a whole industry. Where does he think drains, hospitals and houses come from?”

British Precast, the British Cement Association, the Concrete Centre, Quarry Products Association and the Brick Development Association have written to Woolas.