Greener homes could benefit from new ‘smart brick’ technology

Greener homes could benefit from new 'smart brick' technology

The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) is working on new construction technology in the form of a ‘smart brick’ that can recycle waste water and generate electricity.

The ‘Living Architecture’ (LIAR) project led by Newcastle University intends to merge the fields of architecture, computing and engineering to solve issues regarding global sustainability.

The smart living bricks contain microbial fuel cells (MFCs), which house a variety of micro-organisms that can clean water and generate electricity.

These bricks will also be able to monitor and adapt to changes in environmental conditions.

It is expected that this technology could be incorporated into residential and commercial properties.

Professor Andrew Adamatzky, LIAR project director for UWE Bristol, said: “The technologies we are developing aim to transform the places where we live and work enabling us [to] co-live with the building.

“A building made from bio-reactors will become a large-scale living organism that addresses all [the] environmental and energy needs of the occupants.

“Walls in buildings comprised of smart bricks containing bioreactors will integrate massive-parallel computing processors, where millions of living creatures sense the occupants in the building and the internal and external environmental conditions.

“Each smart brick is an electrical analogous computer. A building made of such bricks will be a massive-parallel computing processor.”

Rachel Armstrong, professor of experimental architecture at Newcastle University, said: “The LIAR project is incredibly exciting – it is bringing together living architecture, computing and engineering to find a new way to tackle global issues, like sustainability.”

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