Scientists have been trying to develop cheap, alternative building materials for years. But there’s one material that is surprisingly strong, secure, waterproof and perhaps just too creepy to handle: animal blood. Recent architectural graduate Jack Munro realized this abundant, greatly wasted substance, could be used as a building material in underdeveloped countries. However the controversial material is definitely a red flag for environmentalists already concerned about the numerous negative environmental impacts of the beef industry, while vegans and various religious groups will certainly not rest their head under a roof made of blood. Still, Munro argues that this innovative yet icky idea may have the potential to create new jobs and cleaner communities.

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One single slaughtered cow produces eight gallons of blood. Why not try to recycle this material into a useful form? Munro conducted hours and hours of experiments with blood, first sterilizing it and then adding sand. Once he baked the product, he realized the elements were sticking together in a sort of glue. The experiments have yet to create a traditional strong, square brick, but the glue-like material is surprisingly waterproof, a characteristic perfect for arid climates and erosion.

His proposal also envisions economic growth for communities converting to blood buildings. A hypothetical blood brick factory in Egypt takes halal animal slaughter and streamlines the the sacrificial act into architectural material. The factory would also serve as a reliable source of work, as often times desert living workers lose their crops and livestock to unpredictable weather.

via fastcodesign