Resource Saver

Innovative Building Material Trumps Concrete

Oleksandr Rybitskiy/

Concrete and steel allow us to build immense houses, skyscrapers and dams, but in 2012, the U.S. Energy Information Administration determined that cement manufacturing uses more energy than any other industry. A new substitute process of growing biodegradable bricks via millions of bacteria-depositing chemicals, similar to the way coral grows, is now coming into use.

The bacteria are injected into a brick mold with an aggregate material such as sand. After a short time, the bacteria turn it into a solid brick. Not only is this a renewable resource, it uses relatively little energy and is a viable option for future methods of construction, including terraforming other planets (

This article appears in the October 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

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