Leading architecture publication lauds new alternative masonry for its potential environmental impact.
ArchDaily, one of the world’s most visited architecture websites, explains: “Over 200 billion of India’s traditional clay fired bricks are manufactured every year, resulting in numerous pollution and environmental problems. To address these issues, a team from MIT –- composed of students Michael Laracy and Thomas Poinot, along with professors Elsa Olivetti, Hamlin Jennings and John Ochsendorf — has developed Eco-BLAC bricks: an alternative to traditional bricks that reuses industrial waste and is low-cost and low energy.”
What separates the Eco-BLAC brick from red clay competitors is the two-fold environmental solution it provides. First, it utilizes ash produced by factories that is currently sent to landfill. Second, the bricks cure through an alkali-activation process, rather than the 1000˚ kiln-firing needed for red clay bricks.
“By using a chemical reaction rather than firing, the bricks gain strength at ambient temperatures, not requiring the massive consumption of coal (roughly 24 million tons annually) in traditional clay-fired brick production. This process also produces no emissions, unlike the traditional kiln technology,” writes Eric Oh in ArchDaily.
The team is continuing to perfect the design and is setting up a pilot plant in Muzaffarnagar, an industrial city in northern India.
Check out our video to see how the Eco-BLAC brick is created on-site in Muzaffarnagar, India:
Top Photo: Mike Laracy (l) and Thomas Poinot (r) with sample bricks at Bindlas Duplux Paper Mill in Muzaffarnagar, India. Behind them are stacked traditional red clay bricks.