Kite Bricks prototype proposes smarter building approach (w/ Video)

July 8, 2014 by Nancy Owano weblog

A company called Kite Bricks is out to shake things up in the way buildings, bridges and sidewalks are built. The company proposes a product whereby structures, "from Africa to Manhattan," in company parlance, will be highly insulated, strong, and much cheaper to build. So what is the product? The "Smart Brick" is constructed of high-strength concrete. As shown in the company's promotional video, the distinguishing characteristic of this brick is in design, where the bricks easily join together with open internal spaces for insulation and infrastructure elements to be run through the bricks. A number of technology sites described the bricks as Lego-like. The company's Ronnie Zohar told that making the bricks Lego-like was not top of mind; the focus was always on insulation and strength. The fact that the blocks can connect together so easily was secondary.

Nonetheless, Victoria Solon of did a good job in explaining the Kite Brick product in terms of how exactly they do fit together: They come in a variety of forms for different purposes and easily connect together, "with rows of knobs along the top of bricks that slot into voids along the bottom of other bricks. A special adhesive—which works like a super-strong double-sided sticky tape, a bit like 3M VHB—dispenses with the need for cement." She added that steel bars can be slotted through dedicated channels in the bricks to provide the same support as traditionally reinforced concrete. The open internal spaces are for insulation, making them need less energy for heating and cooling.

The blocks have patented removable faces; the bricks arrive in proper sizes, number and finishes. This carries a cost benefit of minimizing labor and time; the bricks come complete and their attachment does not require mortar or leveling; the approach is amenable for building multi-story structures with ease; no cranes are required; for taller structures, an elevator on site to take up the bricks is enough. Another cost-saving advantage involves energy by redirecting heat in the summer and trapping it in the winter. All in all, Kite Bricks thinks it has a quite special solution. "Real alternatives to the Smart Brick do not exist," said the company web site. "Most blocks are 'dumb' in that they simply provide a structural scaffolding onto or through which 'important elements are decorated—just as was done 100 years ago. Some 'advanced" blocks may include insulation. The Smart Brick offers it all: high thermal control, full passage of pipes, wires, cables and the like, finishes for both indoors and outdoors, extraordinary tensile strength, ease of construction, safety of materials, and total application throughout a structure—floors, ceilings, and walls. The Smart Brick is the solution for building from Africa to Manhattan."

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
Smart Bricks - A New Way to Build reported that so far, there's only a prototype and IP protection. He said in that a key focus has been to make it as simple as possible to build using the . "I'd like people in Africa and other places in the world to be able to build with our brick and get a thermally-insulated house using the same money they would have spent on tin."

Explore further: Architect makes bricks using cattle blood

More information:

Related Stories

Architect makes bricks using cattle blood

October 26, 2012

(—A recent graduate from the University of Westminster in London, architect Jack Munro has developed a process that uses cattle blood as a binding ingredient in making bricks for use in building construction.

Paper waste used to make bricks

December 19, 2012

Researchers at the University of Jaen (Spain) have mixed waste from the paper industry with ceramic material used in the construction industry. The result is a brick that has low thermal conductivity meaning it acts as a ...

'New old bricks' for the construction industry

September 17, 2013

Making bricks is a very resource- and energy-intensive process. Meanwhile, when existing brick buildings are demolished, most of the resulting debris, which can contain many thousands of whole bricks, is sent to landfill ...

Google makes the world a playboard for Legos

January 28, 2014

Google on Tuesday began letting Lego lovers build with virtual color blocks in its Chrome web browser and then give creations homes in online maps of the real world.

Recommended for you

Magnetic fields provide a new way to communicate wirelessly

September 1, 2015

Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego demonstrated a new wireless communication technique that works by sending magnetic signals through the human body. The new technology could offer a lower power ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1 / 5 (1) Jul 08, 2014
The basic idea is sound, except for two points.

1. It's difficult to level and stabilize the ground to lay the bottom layer of blocks evenly, which is why you probably need to pour a concrete slab anyhow.

2. concrete has no tensile strenght. It will only take compression.The overhanging blocks that make up the second floor will crumble apart unless the structure is reinforced and pre-compressed with steel cable. This is the most implausible part I find of the whole video.

They have to make the blocks out of some special concrete mix that has tensile strenght due to embedded fiber or other sort of composite, but that makes them rather proprietary and expensive to manufacture.
not rated yet Jul 08, 2014

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.