Smart bricks, a new type of concrete block, may have a familiar feel for many, as the innovative building material resembles a set of life-size Lego.
The smart bricks, which are currently in the prototype stage of their development, are the brainchild of Israeli developer Ronnie Zohar, who operates a firm called Kite Bricks, according to the Mail Online.
The blocks look eerily similar to the classic children’s toy, and may be able to dramatically cut costs associated with construction, according to Kite Bricks.
Zohar envisions that each Lego-like block will be individually made out of high-strength concrete. Buildings constructed from smart bricks would be sent as a package and, when assembled, would slot together just as plastic Lego does.
An adhesive is used to fasten the smart bricks together and works much like double-sided tape, dispensing with the need for cement. The blocks come already finished, so there is no extra work to be done in waterproofing a building, and they present several other benefits that current systems cannot.
“Bricks are designed to be easily joined together, with open internal spaces for insulation and infrastructure elements to be run through the bricks and allow for easy access to these elements,” according to Kite Bricks. Not only do those internal spaces prove useful for insulation purposes, but the interior of each block can also be quickly accessed through patented removable panels. Broken pipes or cables can be reached in that manner far more quickly than in current buildings.
The smart bricks, which are also referred to as S-bricks, are currently in the prototype stage and Kite Bricks would need to raise $3 million to put them into full scale production. Despite the Lego comparison, Zohar says that the idea for the smart blocks didn’t come from the toy. Rather, he was working on developing new insulation technologies, which led him to design a brick with open spaces inside for air.
The fact that the smart block slot together like Lego is a secondary function, and Zohar says that the most challenging part so far has been developing a type of concrete that is “light and strong like steel.”