We’re moving one brick at a time towards a more earth friendly building future, and researchers in Europe have just thrown their latest invention into the equation. Teams working together at the Schools of Architecture at the University of Seville in Spain and the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK have created a new environmentally friendly building material that is stronger and uses less energy to make than its conventional counterpart. The new blocks, which are reinforced by wool and seaweed, were developed during a push by the two universities to create more environmentally kind building materials that would also mechanically improve upon more traditional ones.
“The objective was to produce bricks reinforced with wool and to obtain a composite that was more sustainable, non-toxic, using abundant local materials, and that would mechanically improve the bricks’ strength,” Carmen Galán and Carlos Rivera, authors of the study and researchers at the universities said about their invention. Wool and an alginate conglomerate from the cell walls of seaweed were mixed with clay to create the bricks. When dried — they don’t need to be fired, which cuts down on energy used in their production — the mixture seemed to make the bricks less prone to cracking and less likely to warp.
The raw materials were sourced locally in Scotland from clay based brick manufacturers and local wool producers who are unable to use all of their product. The authors note that they wished to create a locally sourced material that was, “suitable for adverse climatic conditions, such as the specific ones in the United Kingdom.” They also note that because of the materials used and the non-firing manufacturing process, “this is a more sustainable and healthy alternative to conventional building materials such as baked earth bricks and concrete blocks.” We’re just left wondering if these woolly bricks are more cuddly than their old school ancestors.
Via Science Daily
181 Comments >
19-Year-Old Develops Ocean Cleanup Array That Could Remove 7,250,000 Tons Of Plastic From the World's Oceans
- 111 Comments >
- 39 Comments >
- 21 Comments >
- 2002 Comments >
411 Comments >
BACK TO SCHOOL GIVEAWAY: Enter to Win a HP Pavilion dv6 Laptop and Green Prize Package (Worth $1155!)
- 391 Comments >
- 366 Comments >
- 350 Comments >
284 Comments >
LAST CHANCE: Enter to Win a Voltaic Laptop-Charging Solar Backpack Filled With Green School Supplies (Worth $500)!
281 Comments >
GIVEAWAY: Enter to Win a Sloan AQUS Grey Water Toilet System That Recycles Your Sink Water (Worth $189)!
- 247 Comments >
240 Comments >
LAST CHANCE: Enter Inhabitat's Back To School Contest to Win $250+ of Green Goodies Including a Voltaic Solar Backpack (Worth $129)
- 228 Comments >
- 221 Comments >
- 187 Comments >
Did you know that there are wolves living near you in almost every state in the country? Sadly most of these wolves are not living in the wild, but in wolf sanctuaries, which are conservation organizations set up to protect them and help grow their populationREAD MORE >
Namba Parks was conceived when Osaka Stadium closed down, presenting a great redevelopment opportunity for a new commercial district right next to the Namba Train Station, which is just one stop away from Kansai Airport. Since it's one of the first placesREAD MORE >
Top image: A child is put to work at a militia-run mine in Watsa. © Marcus Bleasdale/National Geographic Captured during a 2004 visit to the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, Bleasdale's images "tell the story of the country's mineral resourceREAD MORE >
You've all heard the tired mantras about changing your lightbulbs and recycling at home in order to save the planet - are you yawning yet? Many consumers think that going green is a gesture of self-sacrifice that often comes at great expense and inconvenienceREAD MORE >
BANANAS You might have heard that bananas are favored by athletes because they contain potassium and it's that same reason that makes them great hangover cures. When you're hungover, your body has lost a lot of potassium that needs to be replenished, so eatingREAD MORE >
Images © Graham King “The shopping cart tree symbolizes both generosity and abundance, as well as acknowledging those less fortunate where their whole world may be housed in a cart. We see shopping carts every day and take them for granted. IndividuallyREAD MORE >
TIP 1: Wrap Your Home in Insulation - "The More, The Better!" Proper insulation is probably the most important factor you can control in creating an energy-efficient home. I always say insulation is like chocolate, the more you have, the better! On average,READ MORE >
While conjuring up comfort in the home seems like a basic principle, it’s a far more complex process for architect & remodeling guru Sarah Susanka, who believes that comfort can significantly influence the sustainability of your personal abode. WithREAD MORE >
Two architects, Jos Burger and Wouter Keijzer of BK. Architecten, in charge of the renovation of the old church decided to preserve the atmosphere of the existing place with a spatial intervention that preserves its historical value. The three new floors wereREAD MORE >
For centuries, the Dutch have manipulated the landscape to move water away from their dwellings. Instead of battling the elements, Netherlands-based firm Waterstudio just announced plans to construct the world's first floating apartment complex in 2014! TheREAD MORE >
The Biomimicry Manual: What can We Learn About Resilience, Weight Loss, and Kidney Disease from the Grizzly Bear?I'm off to the wilds of Montana this week, doing some in-person, up-close biomimicry research, and I've got my fingers crossed I'll see a grizzly bear. But you know, over there, not over here. With five inch long claws, massive muscular shoulders and forearms,READ MORE >
INHABITAT: How does the term Colorfast describe your latest show? R Nelson Parrish: The term Colorfast originally is a textile industry term derived at the beginning of the last century. It defines how a color cannot fade, wash out, or be diluted over time,READ MORE >