Blood Bricks

blood_bricks

Sam Challe- Blog 10

With waste becoming more and more of a problem its hard not to think of putting it in other places besides a landfill. This exciting reuse of waste materials is known as “garbology” and one example of this reuse is Blood Bricks. “This idea rests on the assumption that animal blood counts as a waste product” (CityMetric). Being carnivores we usually forget about the blood of animals and this product becomes waste.

This is potentially an offensive idea however it has a revolutionary product that could rise from it. Blood happens to be “one of the strongest bio-adhesives” (CityMetric) and this protein rich substance combined with sand can be formed and cast into bricks. These bricks would have the strength of ordinary cast bricks but the opportunity to use a material that is plentiful in remote areas.

Innovative and unique, two reasons why this blood powder turned into bricks is being tested in Britain. But why hasn’t this evolved further since 2015? Does it have any benefits regular bricks don’t have? Can it be used on a larger scale? Would this turn into a business where they aim to make blood rather than use and recycle leftover blood? These questions along with the ethical side of this brick are very concerning. However technology advances could make this material more ethical like just using the protein in blood rather than the the blood in its entirety. This keeps the strength from the material while taking the focus off of the idea of animals blood.

In the end this reuse of a less typical material could be innovative and help build strength in construction materials. I am excited to see further development of this product and where it will lead in other products like concrete slabs, pottery, and other clay or terra-cotta products.

http://www.citymetric.com/skylines/9-building-materials-made-entirely-waste-products-932

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2 comments

  1. nathancruzrak

    These “Blood Bricks”, is a well-intentioned material Innovation. It takes a smart step towards utilizing a large resource that is typically complete waste, but it’s pretty flawed both sociologically and physically.

    Reading up on the brick brings to light its physical flaws. It is not currently able to withstand the pressures needed of structural brick in a building. However, the crux of the issue with this material is it literally looks like coagulated blood.

    Now, I hate saying this, but there is an argument for it. It is a known fact that there are building materials and other everyday products that are made of animal byproducts. Such as, glue and plaster. The BIG difference though is the resulting aesthetic and use of the product.

    Blood bricks, look horrifying. Even if they were to fix this problem, just the fact that the walls and structure of the building your are in is made of animal blood is enough to make the relatively desensitized feel qualmish. The other commodities, while made of animal byproducts, are not nearly as integral in the overall configuration and aesthetic of a building.

    In conclusion, yes it is a smart idea, but one that should be thought through again. It could very well fit into the fabric of our society through another application. Right now, however, I don’t think people are ready, or ever should be, to inhabit a construct made of animal blood.

    Nathan CruzRak – Journal 11

  2. I think another difficult aspect of this product is is the aspect of supply and demand. I don’t currently understand the scope of how this animal blood is harvested. If it is a waste product, I assume it is being sourced from recently-killed or dead animals. This would mean that natural causes or the hunting of certain animals are resulting in this “waste blood.”

    My fear is that, if this product picks up pace and people start to feel comfortable with the aesthetic, that animals will being to be needlessly killed for their blood; setting up a poaching ring that, although it has merit in the world of building, would damage the larger ecosystem of the world.

    Similarly, this is another question to ask in the topic of supply. If it is a protein in the animal blood and not the entirety of the blood itself, then I would endeavor to guess that this protein can be biologically isolated or even better, synthesized in order to create the material necessary for this product. The process required to do this, however many animal lives it may save, would cost a lot of laboratory and manpower dollars on the R&D side, and even more on the production side.

    Though an innovative material, we have to ask ourselves: is it worth it?

    Lauren Angus // Journal week 10

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