An American architecture professor in Abu Dhabi has successfully grown bricks from bacteria, sand and urine. Ginger Krieg Dosier of the American University of Sharjah in the UAE created these bricks that have the potential to replace conventional kiln-fired bricks which can lead to rampant deforestation and contribute to carbon emissions. Dosier won the Next Generation Design award from Metropolis Magazine which also elaborated on how the bricks are made.
The process, known as microbial-induced calcite precipitation, or MICP, uses the microbes on sand to bind the grains together like glue with a chain of chemical reactions. The resulting mass resembles sandstone but, depending on how it’s made, can reproduce the strength of fired-clay brick or even marble. If Dosier’s biomanufactured masonry replaced each new brick on the planet, it would reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by at least 800 million tons a year.