Thursday, 10 April 2008

"Urine passes test"

Here’s a story that should gladden the hearts of all EcoSanologists. On page 23 of Developments issue 41, just published but not yet on the web (check here), there’s a report of the work by students at the School of Architecture, University of Sheffield, England, for Architects for Aid, on using urine to make mud bricks − and they outperformed those made with water. The rationale for this development was that, in refugee camps or following natural disasters water is in short supply and mostly needed for drinking, with none or very little left to make mud bricks for new shelter. So it's people → urine → mud bricks. Good solution! More details here and here, and report here.

Urine contains urea which is a good binder for the mud. Pig urine is good too − see pdf page 5 of The Brick Master of Kerala; also horse urine (see here).