Boring Company confirms Elon Musk’s plan to use excavated dirt for low-cost housing

May 9, 2018 by  
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Will Elon Musk foray into affordable housing next? Earlier this week, he said on Twitter that The Boring Company would transform dirt from tunnel digging into bricks for low-cost housing . A spokesperson confirmed the plans to Bloomberg , and said, “there will be an insane amount of bricks.” The Boring Company will be using dirt from tunnel digging to create bricks for low cost housing — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 7, 2018 A Boring Company spokesperson told Bloomberg bricks would come from “excavated muck.” Musk has indicated in the past he could sell excavated materials; in March he tweeted about kits of life-size LEGO -like interlocking bricks to make structures inspired by ancient Egypt. And when asked if the bricks could be used for affordable housing around that time, he said yes, and that “two people could build the outer walls of a small house in a day or so.” Related: Elon Musk’s Boring Company to sell life-size ‘LEGO-like’ bricks dug from the earth It seems like he’s serious, but there are still plenty of questions around such an endeavor — such as how many housing units Musk could build with Boring Company bricks. Bloomberg spoke with University of California, Los Angeles lecturer Juan Matute who said Musk’s tweet “assumes that housing costs are driven by construction materials , and particularly, construction materials that can be replaced by bricks. That’s not the case.” Labor and land drive prices more, according to Bloomberg, at least in California where The Boring Company is currently tunneling. Another potential issue is that chemicals have contaminated land underneath Los Angeles. If contaminants are present in excavated dirt, it may be difficult for The Boring Company to transform that dirt into bricks. Matute told Bloomberg challenges might not prevent Musk from following through on the plan, saying, “That doesn’t mean The Boring Company can’t buy some land and build a few low-cost houses, with a partner like Habitat for Humanity. And say, ‘Look what we did.’” The Boring Company said future offices could be erected with their bricks, according to Bloomberg. The company’s Frequently Asked Questions page said they’re “investigating technologies that will recycle the earth into useful bricks to be used to build structures,” and that these bricks “can potentially be used as a portion of the tunnel lining itself.” + Elon Musk Twitter Via Bloomberg Image via Steve Jurvetson on Flickr

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Boring Company confirms Elon Musk’s plan to use excavated dirt for low-cost housing

MIT researchers explore ancient firebrick technology to store energy

September 7, 2017 by  
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Firebricks – or bricks made with clay able to endure temperatures of 1,600 degrees Celsius – have been around for at least 3,000 years. Now Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers are revisiting this ancient technology to potentially help us transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy . The researchers worked out a scheme where excess electricity , generated when the wind is blowing or sun is shining, could be converted into heat and stored in the firebricks for later use. The firebricks technology has existed since the time of the Hittites, according to MIT researchers, who want to draw on this old technology to help make carbon-free power sources competitive with fossil fuels. Right now, with solar and wind power , electricity prices can collapse to near zero when there’s high wind or solar output, making those clean energy installations unprofitable unless companies can store power. Related: Google wants to solve renewable energy storage with salt and antifreeze Their system, called Firebrick Resistance-heated Energy Storage, or FIRES, costs between one-tenth and one-fortieth as much as pumped hydroelectric systems or batteries . It works like this: electric resistance heaters convert that excess electricity to heat, which would be stored in a large mass of firebricks. If the firebricks are inside an insulated casing, they can store that heat for long periods of time. The heat could either be utilized for industrial processes or converted back to electricity later. Regis Matzie, retired Westinghouse Electric Chief Technical Officer, wasn’t involved with the research but told MIT the way electricity prices are determined in America yields to a “skewed electricity market [that] produces low or even negative prices when a significant fraction of electrical energy on the grid is provided by renewables.” He said FIRES could offer an innovative solution, but a demonstration would probably be needed to see if the method is indeed economical. The Electricity Journal published the MIT research online the end of August. The next step will be setting up full-scale prototypes in the real world, which lead author Charles Forsberg said could occur in 2020. He said they’re looking for the right customers – one example would be an ethanol refinery, since they use a lot of heat, located near a large wind farm . Via MIT News Images via U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Gary J. Rihn/Released and courtesy of the researchers

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LEGOLAND Windsor throws a birthday party fit for a queen

June 11, 2016 by  
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For the Queen of England’s 90th birthday, the LEGO masters at LEGOLAND Windsor celebrated in the only way they knew how: by painstakingly handcrafting a brick version of the Queen’s birthday party! All in all, the diorama took 650 hours to build and a whopping 35,000 bricks. Click the link to see the full display!  

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LEGOLAND Windsor throws a birthday party fit for a queen

BioMason’s bricks “grown” with sand and bacteria to hit the market next year

March 1, 2016 by  
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BioMason is inching closer to commercially debuting its eco-friendly “grown” bricks , which they say could be on the market as early as next year. Since its founding in 2012, the North Carolina startup has been pushing to revolutionize the world of building materials in a way that slashes carbon emissions by using bricks grown from sand and bacteria, instead of firing traditional bricks. An increasing number of architects and builders are looking to sustainable construction materials in response to the growing demand for green buildings, and BioMason’s emission-saving biobricks fill a unique niche in the market. Read the rest of BioMason’s bricks “grown” with sand and bacteria to hit the market next year

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Autonomous “Termite” Robots Work Together to Build with Bricks

February 14, 2014 by  
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Computer scientists at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Science have created a small army of self-controlled robots that follow the same principles as ants or termites to create impressive structures out of foam blocks. The TERMES robots can create towers, pyramids, and other structures out of miniature bricks without any sort of blueprint — even building themselves staircases to reach higher levels. Read the rest of Autonomous “Termite” Robots Work Together to Build with Bricks Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: autonomous robots , construction robots , Disaster Relief , harvard , School of Engineering and Applied Science , self-controlled robots , TERMES project , termite robots , termites        

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Autonomous “Termite” Robots Work Together to Build with Bricks

Indian Researchers Create Low-Cost Bricks From Recycled Paper Mill Waste

January 31, 2013 by  
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While recycling trash is preferable to simply chucking refuse into the dump, the process still creates tons of byproducts that end up making their way to the landfill. Fortunately, Professors Rahul Ralegaonkar and Sachin Mandavgane of the Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology in India ( VNIT ) have developed a way to create paper bricks from recycling waste. Made from 90% recycled paper mill waste (RPMW) and 10% cement, the mixture is mechanically mixed and pressed into molds and then cured in the sun. The brilliant recycled building material is low-cost means of eeking more efficiency out of an already good practice. Read the rest of Indian Researchers Create Low-Cost Bricks From Recycled Paper Mill Waste Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bricks , cement , etp , India , Paper , Rahul Ralegaonkar , recycled paper mill waste , rpmw , Sachin Mandavgane , sludge , Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology , vnit

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Indian Researchers Create Low-Cost Bricks From Recycled Paper Mill Waste

Spanish Scientists Make Bricks From Paper Waste

January 10, 2013 by  
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Spanish scientists at the University of Jaén have developed a way to turn paper waste into bricks – though there is still a long way to go before the bricks are as stable as standard clay bricks, the report concludes. The researchers collected…

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Spanish Scientists Make Bricks From Paper Waste

NASA Harnessing the Power of Microbes to Create Building Bricks on Mars

October 5, 2012 by  
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Mars image from Shutterstock Engineers at NASA’s Synthetic Biology Initiative are creating the building blocks of life – or rather, using life to create building blocks. Instead of shipping construction materials for a theoretical base on Mars, scientists are developing microbes capable of creating the ingredients for bricks and mortar. Feeding on astronaut waste and the materials available to them on the red planet, these space bugs could be the first to colonize Mars. Read the rest of NASA Harnessing the Power of Microbes to Create Building Bricks on Mars Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Ames Research Center , anabaena , andre burnier , bricks , cambridge , cyanobacteria , lynn rothschild , mars , Moffett Field , mortar , mrc labratory of molecular biology , nasa , new scientist , paul dear , Sporosarcina pasteurii , synthetic biology initiative

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NASA Harnessing the Power of Microbes to Create Building Bricks on Mars

Incredible LEGO Colosseum Made from 200,000 Bricks Unveiled!

July 13, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Incredible LEGO Colosseum Made from 200,000 Bricks Unveiled! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco design , green design , lego , Lego colosseum , Ryan McNaught , sustainable design , The Brick Man

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Apple Rejoins EPEAT Green Electronics Registry After Public Outcry

July 13, 2012 by  
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Earlier this week Apple announced plans to pull EPEAT Green Electronics Certification from all 39 of its certified desktop computers, laptops and monitors, however today the company did a 360 on its initial stance and issued a statement that it will be returning to the program. Their change of heart comes as no surprise — soon after their first announcement was made, numerous schools, organizations and government agencies, including the City of San Francisco , made it clear that they would cease buying Apple products. Read the rest of Apple Rejoins EPEAT Green Electronics Registry After Public Outcry Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: apple , apple announces return to EPEAT Green Electronics Certification , apple controversy , apple epeat , apple green certification , apple green initiatives , apple news , EPEAT Green Electronics Certification

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