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BIOCHAR BRICKS FOR GREEN BUILDINGS

Biochar bricks are produced by adding charcoal to the bricks produced at normal temperatures. Sun baked clay bricks / cement bricks / biochar added in the earth walls, etc. The following properties enhance: insulation, light weight reduces payload, breathing of obnoxious emissions, carbon sequestration, humidity control, etc.

Photo of Sai Bhaskar Reddy Nakka
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There are many advantages of using the Biochar as a component in Green Buildings for clean indoor air. Biochar can remain for up to 1000 years and more in the soils. Biochar found in earth walls of over 100 years old, is still intact. Biochar can be mixed in different proportions with sand / cement / earth / other suitable material to produce bricks / panels / blocks. The percentage Biochar in different products can be decided based on the purpose and product properties. Biochar use makes the building walls light and insulate. The Biochar produced from different biomasses, temperatures and processes have different properties. Some types of Biochar properties are Coconut shell Biochar appears crystalline, Bamboo Biochar having traditional values, rice-husk Biochar having high silica, etc. The highly porous surfaces of biochars have been shown to adsorb N2O, CO2 and CH4 (Lukas Van Zwieten et al). The Biochar when used in green buildings absorb some of these green house gasses. The Biochar in the debris when used in green buildings, after reaching landfill sites reduce the GHGs emissions from landfill sites and prevent leachets. Biochar can be used as screen for purification of air entering into buildings. Biochar regulates humidity indoors, the emissions from indoor toilets are absorbed. The Biochar urinals reduce NOx emissions as well tap urea from urine for later use as soil amendment. It can be applied to the soil for indoor plants / gardens, as air purifier in refrigerator, for water filtration in aquariums, etc., for reducing emissions from various sources. Considering the life, source and property of Biochar, it is a means for carbon sequestration. It also brings other benefits; temperature is regulated through insulation, as a light weight material suitable for high raise buildings and reduces cost of construction. Biochar is resistant and repels termites and ants. Biochar is the source of negative ions, prevents oxidization, emit far infrared radiation, and dissipate electromagnetic fields from many electronic and electrical devices in a house, these characteristics improve the living conditions in a house. Considering the properties of Biochar for improving the indoor air quality and benefits to the user and environment, can be used in all the green buildings as per the need.

Biochar / charcoal has many good properties. Bricks are made using, rice husk biochar (a byproduct from rice mills), cement and sand. With different proportions the bricks are made.

Uses
- Around plants and path ways
- In construction of buildings, especially inside walls and higher walls
- Ideal for bed rooms to remove obnoxious smell
- Even when the building is demolished, the biochar would benefit the soil.

Insulation - cool in summers and warm in winter
Light weight, good for high story buildings for creating inside walls
Termites resistant
Can be sculpted into shapes
Carbon sequestration

Three types of bricks
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Rice husk biochar : 6 kgs
Cement : 3 kgs
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Sand: 14 kgs
Rice husk biochar: 2.5 kgs
Cement : 2 kgs
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Sand : 14 kgs
Rice husk biochar: 1 kg
Cement: 1 kg
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Dimensions of each brick
11.5 x 7.5 x 6 inches

Note: The rice husk biochar is saturated with water.

What resources (money, time, people, technology, etc) will your concept need to be successful?

This concept can be integrated into the existing practices of construction. During the production of the bricks the biochar (charcoal such as Rice husk biochar, etc.) ban be added. The cost of biochar is comparable with other consturction material such as cement / sand. No additional costs are involved.

What steps could you take to implement this idea today?

Creating awareness as well demonstrating the models.

How can your idea be scaled so that it's implemented in cities around the world?

By awareness and adoption.

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Photo of Abdullah

To Dr. Sai Bhaskar Reddy Nakka


I am a Master of Architecture student from Malaysia. I just want to ask a few question.

If there is a proposal to built BIOCHAR RESEARCH CENTRE on a 4 acre land, what are the name and type of spaces needed? type of lab and it sizes? Basically the Schedule of accommodation.


IS IT POSSIBLE TO TURN THE BIOCHAR INTO THE BUILDING ELEMENTS?

Photo of Abdullah

Are there any precedent on the BUILDING that being constructed with these biochar?

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