French start-up Brikawood has developed bricks of the same name, which are essentially wooden LEGO. Constructing a house is extremely time-consuming, due – in large part – to how long it takes to lay the bricks. With Brikawood, on the other hand, building a house just got a whole lot simpler. These bricks can interlock without the need for nails, concrete, cladding or glue.
It’s easy to build a house with Brikawood
The company says that building a house with Brikawood is like “an intuitive and logical game”. You slot the bricks together and secure them together using a rubber mallet. That’s it. Also, since you’re not using nails, concrete, cladding or glue in the construction of these houses, they can be disassembled with ease. The wood-brick walls get filled with wood shavings leftover from the making of the bricks. This is what helps to insulate both sound and temperature.
These houses are so easy to build that you don’t even need to hire a professional in order to do the work for you. This is basically the adult version of playing with LEGO; it’s just on a very large scale. Carhtarhome sends buyers all of the equipment they need to build a studio in their backyard. The French start-up also sells tiny home kits, and these homes can be attached to wheels, making them perfect for a road trip. Apparently, one of their tiny homes can be assembled by a group of friends in just a couple days and the Douglas fir walls can stand up for 50 years.
In addition, forgoing standard bricks and methods of construction doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice durability. Brikawood can withstand earthquakes that measure 8.5 on the Richter scale. This is what some of the best earthquake-resistant homes in the world are able to withstand.
The affordability of Brikawood
Brikawood homes are very affordable compared to traditional houses. For example, a single kit designed to create a 200sqf structure will cost you €25,000 (around $30,000). In contrast, a property of the same size – but built with standard bricks – could set you back $102,000.
As Red Planet previously reported, there is a demand for tinier homes – with Sustainer Homes and ‘tube homes’ being two examples – as they are far cheaper than standard housing yet still fully functional.
Why Brikawood is eco-friendly
Perhaps the most impressive feature of Brikawood houses is how eco-friendly they are. The wooden bricks are made from sustainably sourced, fast-growing Douglas fir – and they are 100% recyclable. They fulfil the specifications of a ‘passive house’, which is a rigorous standard for the energy efficiency of a building. These types of homes have an impressively low ecological footprint and require little energy for heating and cooling.
Tests have shown that these LEGO-like bricks leak minimal air and help to maintain a temperature of 19-21 degrees inside the home, which meets the requirements for passive housing. The start-up claims that its houses use 90% less energy for heating than a standard home. As previously mentioned, wood shavings are used as insulation, as opposed to a whole new material. This helps contribute to zero-waste production. David Maiolo, director of RODA, a Melbourne-based building company, said:
Brikawood is a great product because it brings another dynamic to an ever-changing industry.
It also slashes the time a construction takes and is quick, affordable, lightweight and easy to install.
Considering 40% of landfill is made up of building material, having another recyclable material in the market is good from an environmental point of view.
The main downside is that as it’s a timber product it will need to be constantly maintained.
Nevertheless, for many buyers, the various benefits of owning a Brikawood house far outweigh its downsides. These homes are easy-to-build, simple, sturdy, affordable, highly energy-efficient, and very eco-friendly.
About the author: Sam Woolfe @samwoolfe
Sam is a freelance writer who is particularly interested in space exploration, sustainability, tech, and agriculture.