In 1971, Gary Anderson, an architect and designer at the University of Southern California,
created the recycling symbol.
It is a triangle with three arrows pointing clockwise, each pointing to industry, consumers and recycling.
A cycle that never ends
Reintegrating items that are typically considered trash back into the manufacturing cycle is essential to the idea of a circular economy.
This idea is also of particular importance to the construction sector,
which has always relied on the exploitation and destruction of resources in order to survive.
Nothing is more symbolic in this case than bricks,
which represent the building of new things and the perfect illustration of how the idea of circularity can be used.
Recycling has been embraced by creative minds who have come up with ways to transform waste
– from plastic and seaweed to hair – into valuable resources and the production of a wide range of goods.
These developments have fundamentally changed how we design and use our spaces,
as well as addressing pressing environmental challenges.
This article focuses on seven programs that turn waste into bricks.
Create houses using seaweed
Due to the seaweed invasion, local communities in Mexico organized beach clean-ups,
After it caused respiratory problems among residents due to its unpleasant smell.
This is when the creator of Blue-Green in Puerto Morelos, Omar Vasquez Sanchez, realized:
The opportunity to recycle this natural resource as the main component of building materials.
He used seaweed and mud to successfully build a house after six years of planning and experimentation.
Tests later conducted by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) proved,
Sargassum seaweed added to bricks has exceptional resilience.
This was demonstrated by its ability to withstand seismic activity and hurricane winds,
and the small house, which took 15 days to build, was used.
50% less resources than a typical social housing unit.
The house is characterized by its high thermal inertia,
which allows heat to accumulate during the day and be released at night.
Now the creator of the idea seeks to make this building material suitable for high-end structures and accessible to low-income people looking to develop affordable homes.
Bricks have thus transformed an environmental issue into a truly useful and sustainable raw resource.
Urban waste for the museum facade
Crushed concrete and glass debris were used to construct the facade of the Design Museum Gent.
After applying the innovative recycling method to it.
Given how its components are easily obtained without the need for a combustion process that would harm the environment,
They contain only a third of the carbon found in traditional bricks.
The museum extension, designed by Carmody Groarke and created in collaboration with Local Works Studio,
TRANS Architectuur and material designers BC Materials, will include Gent Waste Brick.
So a process was developed to grind waste from construction projects with lime to produce dry and cured bricks.