The Brick Project – Group B
The common materials used for masonry construction is brick, as it is generally a highly durable form of construction. Traditionally, the term brick referred to ‘a unit composed of clay, but it is now used to denote any rectangular units laid in mortar’ (Lee, 1998)) . A brick can be composed of clay-bearing soil, sand, and lime, or concrete materials. (Lee, 1998)
Our group wanted to research alternative materials that could be incorporated into brick making, in order to make the process more environmentally sustainable.
Gert de Mulder addresses the importance outcome of recycling, developing a series of decorative bricks that are made entirely from discarded plastic bags. He produces these pieces through a process requiring high heat exposure, in order to melt down the material for casting. Their colours vary, depending on the prints used, and in some have been embellished with pressed flowers and other ‘eco-accoutrement’ (Beitiks, 2010). Mulder’s work was featured at Rotterdam’s Material Xperience, in 2010 (Beitiks, 2010).
Alfred Heineken, the third-generation patriarch of the Dutch brewing family Heineken, invented a revolutionary bottle, called the WOBO, in 1963 (Kiefaber, 2012). The WOBO is a beer bottle that doubled as a giant interlocking Lego brick, and was made for building eco-homes during the early 1960s. The idea came from his trip to Curaçao, where he witnessed locals using waste from the beaches to construct their homes, mainly being beer bottles (Kiefaber, 2012).
Beitiks, M. (2010). ‘Recy-Blocks: Building Material Made from Old Plastic Bags’, on Inhabitat Online, Available at: https://inhabitat.com/recy-blocks-made-from-old-plastic-bags/ (Accessed on: 12/01/2017)
Kiefaber, D. (2012). ‘How a Brick-Shaped Heineken Bottle Almost Changed the World 50 Years Ago’, ADWEEK. Available at: http://www.adweek.com/creativity/how-brick-shaped-heineken-bottle-almost-changed-world-50-years-ago-143190/ (Accessed on: 12/01/2017)
Lee, A, J. and Mason, O. T ( 1998). ‘Brick and Tile – Building Materials’, in The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. Available at: https://www.britannica.com/technology/brick-building-material (Accessed on: 12/01/2017)
Written by: Scott Addison