Bio Brick Made From Sand, Bacteria & Urea Wins Contest

Bio Brick Made From Sand, Bacteria & Urea Wins Contest

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Cambria Bold
May 12, 2010

Assistant architecture professor Ginger Krieg Dosier recently won Metropolis Magazine's Next Generation Design Competition for her durable and sustainably manufactured bricks "grown" (not baked) from sand, bacteria, calcium chloride, and urea. The process, known as microbial-induced calcite precipitation, or MICP, uses the microbes on sand to bind the grains together like glue with a chain of chemical reactions. The resulting structure looks like sandstone but has the strength of fired-clay brick or even marble.

If these bricks were adopted worldwide, they would reduce CO2 emissions by 800 million tons a year!

From Metropolis, here are 12 steps to reproduce Dosier's idea:

1. Place the formwork in the sand.
2. Fill it up.
3. Level.
4. Shake the bacteria solution.
5. Pour it over the sand.
6. Let it saturate.
7. Pour the cementing solution over the sand.
8. Let it saturate.
9. Watch the brick harden.
10. Remove the formwork.
11. Watch the brick harden some more.
12. Behold, an ecobrick!

Read more about the "Better Bricks" at Metropolis.

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