Using animal blood for building your own house sounds like something from a horror film, but architect Jack Monro has created a set of experimental bricks that take bovine blood as their raw material.
According to Monro the blood bricks are “a potential replacement for mud bricks in regions which have suffered significant rain damage such as Siwa, Egypt”, because it’s a sustainable and cheap way of building houses. A slaughtered bullock, for example, produces over 30 liters of blood. Blood also happens to be one of the most-wasted “materials” in the world.
Beyond the addition of the preservative EDTA no chemicals are required for manufactering the blood bricks. The preservative is added to prevent bacterial and fungal growth in the blood. The relatively low coagulation temperature of blood (over 64 C) would allow for the bricks to be baked using desert sunlight only. All this makes the blood brick a good substitution for conventional building materials.
Monro’s research forms part of a wider trend focusing on the uses of biomaterials, including mushrooms and bamboo, in construction projects.