Not Just Another Brick In The Wall: 3 New Kinds Of Bricks For Sustainable Builders

Construction & Contractors Blog

Brick is a timeless building material, and more home designers and architects are turning to bricks to create warm, textured rooms and stately, artistic buildings.

But engineers and tinkerers are always thinking up new ways to make and use bricks. These 3 designs are some of the more creative ideas you'll see in modern brick design:

Bricks that hold water to cool homes.

One design firm was searching for a way to make bricks that would help lower temperatures in a passively-cooled home. They turned to their 3D printer to create their holey bricks, which are designed to be breathable when temperatures are cool, but will hold water when it's hot outside.

One of the ceramic bricks resembles a stack of waffles weirdly pressed together, but the lattice design works as intended. Filled with water either manually or by pump, these bricks will use evaporative cooling to accomplish their temperature-lowering purpose.

In areas where insulation isn't needed for winter, but cooling is needed in summer, these bricks could be a fine substitute for air conditioning units and swamp coolers.

Bricks made from hemp.

The nation was built with hemp rope and its early history was recorded on hemp paper. Then U.S. legislators made hemp an illegal building material to grow, and it was too expensive to import in large enough quantities to use for large projects.

Today, American lawmakers have allowed the cultivation of this sustainable plant. Engineers and builders are busy catching up, learning how to build with hempcrete bricks.

Hempcrete is a French invention, developed in the 1980s. It's a popular building material in Europe, since it's resistant to mold, pests and fire. It does need to be thicker than standard bricks to provide adequate insulation, but its low cost and great qualities should make hempcrete a popular choice in the U.S. soon.

Cornstalk and mushroom bricks.

Another type of brick is a compostable brick that "grows" itself. Materials like cornstalks and mushrooms are stuffed into a mold and then, through a special process, the materials combine and grow to conform to the shape of the brick mold.

These bricks are not as strong as conventional bricks, but they have the advantage of composting completely within a few months of being tossed in a landfill. They also require very little energy to manufacture, but engineers with have to work on making them stronger for larger applications.

Bricks are a great choice for your next home improvement project. Your brick experts will show you all of the greenest building materials available today to make your home beautiful and sustainable.

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15 July 2015

Finding Great Contractors

Do you know what to look for when it comes to finding a great team of professional contractors? I sure didn't until a few years ago, which was why I started focusing on doing everything I could to choose a team of experts that really understood what I was up against. I knew that the first step in making the construction process easy would be to work with great contractors, so I did everything I could to learn what I needed to in order to decide if they were right for my family and project. This blog is all about finding great contractors that can help you to streamline your project.