BioMason is inching closer to commercially debuting its eco-friendly “grown” bricks, which they say could be on the market as early as next year. Since its founding in 2012, the North Carolina startup has been pushing to revolutionize the world of building materials in a way that slashes carbon emissions by using bricks grown from sand and bacteria, instead of firing traditional bricks. An increasing number of architects and builders are looking to sustainable construction materials in response to the growing demand for green buildings, and BioMason’s emission-saving biobricks fill a unique niche in the market.

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BioMason’s efforts, under the directions of founder and CEO Ginger Krieg Dosier, have been garnering attention in the green construction industry for several years. In 2013, the company won a $560,000 prize in the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. Since that time, the company has been perfecting its zero emission, zero waste production techniques and working on scalability. The company runs a pilot plant in Durham, NC which is capable of producing 1,500 bricks per week, but they’ll need to make a lot more if they really want to shake up the industry – and they do.

Related: Award-winning BioMason grows bricks from sand and bacteria to reduce CO2 emissions

Traditional bricks, which are also made from sand and binding agents, have to be “fired” for three to five days, a process which generates approximately 800 million tons of carbon emissions each year. BioMason’s biobricks take only two or three days to ‘grow’ and eliminate the emissions altogether. What’s more, Dosier says her company’s bricks can even absorb pollution, making them an active agent in the war against climate change. By replacing traditional bricks with a grown version, BioMason aims to make a dent in the enormous carbon dioxide emissions produced by the construction industry, which accounts for around 40 percent of global emissions.

Via Clean Technica

Images via BioMason