BioMason creates innovative organic bricks

February 18, 2014

The company says that unlike traditional building materials that rely on natural resources, its new product is made using natural biological cements, which makes it not only environment-friendly but also durable and high-strength.
Image courtesy: BioMason

A new, small-scale biotechnology company, BioMason, has developed a unique method of growing construction materials such as bricks using common microorganisms and other natural resources. The innovation was part of its winning product at the Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Challenge program.

The company says that unlike traditional building materials such as glass, metal, concrete and wood that rely on the earth’s natural resources, its new innovation is the answer to growing demands of the time. The new product is made using natural biological cements such as sea coral and it is not only good for the surrounding environment but also durable and high-strength. An interesting comparison could be drawn between this method and the use of bio-design methodology in The Living’s  MoMA PS1’s 2014 Young Architects Program – a structure formed entirely of organic matter.

According to the company, “Global cement production in 2008 amounted to 2.8 billion tons, with equivalent quantities of CO2 released into the atmosphere.” It says that nearly “40 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions are linked to the construction industry” owing to energy-intensive processes including extracting of raw materials, transportation and fuel sources for heating kilns.

In a statement issued by BioMason, “Bacteria, which provide a precise environment to form in combination with a nutrient, nitrogen and calcium source allow for the formation of natural cement in ambient temperatures, taking less than five days to produce a pre-cast material.” It says that the inputs for bio-cements are inexpensive, universally abundant and can be sourced from everyday waste by-products. The water used to deliver the cementation reagents can be easily recycled and reused in the manufacturing process.

The unique biotechnology start-up has created a viable model for the construction market that involves licensing existing masonry manufacturers to begin cultivating the bacteria responsible for the material.

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  • Peter May February 21st, 2014 4:26 pm

    Making bricks out of coral sounds destructive and anything but ecologically sound practice.

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