Week 10 Blog Post
Even though concrete is the most widely used construction material in the world, in certain geographical locations concrete needs to be imported from other countries, like north Africa, Greenland, and many islands. In north Africa and islands, sand is their abundant resources that they are not only easily accessible, but also cheap to use it as building material. University of Kasdi Merbah and the Polytechnic School of Algiers in Algeria has developed a new kind of brick made with little more than water, sand sourced from their own backyard, and a binder. The brick is well-insulated with sound and heat, strong, and resistant.
I think the sand brick made from desert sand would make a big change of how people live in these areas. Environmentally, eliminating import of concrete from other countries and producing bricks locally reduce transportation energy consumption; manufacturing sand brick without large heat and pressure input like concrete saves manufacturing energy consumption. Manufacturing brick with desert sand, considering as a “wasted” material from nature and human, is helpful to control the growth of desert by consuming desert sand as a raw material directly and indirectly reducing consumption of wood as building material. I consider it as a “recycling process”, because formation of desert is partially due to human activities. It would be amazing if human starts to make use of our waste – desert sand. Economically, a lot of jobs would be created by establishing sand brick manufacturing factories. Bricks would be very low-priced because of made from desert sand, which is “free”. It can be exported to other countries. Even though brick cannot be used for high rises, but low houses made from bricks fit the social and geographical context of these countries, which is small population vs. large land.
It is a win-win situation for both human and nature.