Modular construction—using prefabricated building components to rapidly assemble complete structures—has garnered significant interest in the industry over the last decade or so.
An innovative startup out of the UK, Kite Brick Ltd, has come up with a downright playful approach to modular construction. The so-called smart bricks that are being prototyped by the company (US patent pending) is constructed of high-strength concrete with a number of desirable characteristics:
- Easily assembled
- Internal spaces within the blocks for insulation and infrastructure elements
- Excellent thermal properties to reduce energy consumption
- Greatly reduced on-site waste
- Extremely resilient
- Incredibly versatile: applicable to residential and non-residential, buildings, bridges and even sidewalks
According to Smithsonian.com:
In comparison to standard bricks or concrete blocks — dumb blocks, I suppose — the Smart Brick claims to offer greater thermal energy control, lower construction costs and greater versatility. The specially formulated concrete blocks are designed to be easily connected and include an internal space for the building’s insulation, mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems. Removable panels make it easy to install and access the building’s infrastructure. They can be easily assembled with just a little industrial double-sided tape and fit with custom finishing, so, like Lego, there’s “no additional need to paint, hang wallpaper or otherwise treat the outer and inner walls of the final structure.” This is all better explained by the following promotional video, according to which, one day Smart Bricks will be installed by robots.
Below is a video from the manufacturer: