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Blood Bricks
November 25, 2012 7:31 PM   Subscribe

This series of experiments explores the use fresh animal blood as the basis for a building material.
posted by Renoroc (44 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Bloody brilliant.
posted by victory_laser at 7:39 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why not source the blood on-site?
posted by BungaDunga at 7:43 PM on November 25, 2012


Oh god, how awesome would it be to be able to say "MY HOUSE IS MADE OF BLOOD."
posted by exlotuseater at 7:45 PM on November 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Finally the Red Sorcerer can have a real Throne of Blood. The White Sorceror on his Throne of Bone hasn't let up about that pink sandstone for centuries.
posted by moonmilk at 7:47 PM on November 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


3 BR/BA, patio, central AC, made out of blood
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:48 PM on November 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


Next, we will build a castle using mortar slaked with the blood of a child with no mortal father.
posted by XMLicious at 7:48 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ox blood was traditionally used in mortar. Can only imagine how it smells, though.
posted by Jehan at 7:51 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Will this come in soy?
posted by riverlife at 8:04 PM on November 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


The backup generator is powered by the souls of the damned.
posted by indubitable at 8:08 PM on November 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I literally can't read the website. Is there a way to get a less clever version of it?
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:15 PM on November 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


All the info text is in one blurry JPEG (the website was made by a designer, after all).

I guess what's interesting about this is that the blood forms most of the cement. Some animal products are traditional in building already (herbivore dung in mud-brick; animal hide as glue) but this is basically stabilized sandy scabs, rather than blood being used to improve the properties of some other binder.

I wonder if you could eliminate the need for the anticoagulant by bleeding the bullocks directly into a form and mixing in the sodium azide and glacial acetic acid rapidly enough?
posted by hattifattener at 8:30 PM on November 25, 2012


Is there a way to get the blood to flow up the walls?
posted by dirigibleman at 8:33 PM on November 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


One could imagine a hemophagic Fraggle carelessly breaking off a piece and consuming it.
posted by adipocere at 8:40 PM on November 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm not saying we should reenact "Hansel and Gretel" with Buffy the Vampire Slayer using her gingerblood house to lure in the unwitting undead. I'm just saying it's possible.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:40 PM on November 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


Now I'm thirsty for a blood and sand.
posted by Matt Oneiros at 8:43 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


>> Yeah, those pages took some browser zooming to become legible. I found a post with higher-resolution images here, but it only includes the pages prior to what Munro has on his own website.

Anyway, at least now we can say we truly use every part of the animal.
posted by Johann Georg Faust at 8:45 PM on November 25, 2012


One could imagine a hemophagic Fraggle...

This is my new "consider a spherical cow."
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:57 PM on November 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'll accept that animal blood is generally wasted, I'd be surprised if there was enough of it around in developing countries to use as a construction material. But it's novel, that's for sure.
posted by GuyZero at 9:04 PM on November 25, 2012


Union workers will never accept a building built by scabs.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:05 PM on November 25, 2012 [22 favorites]


"You say you want a room of your own Billy. How attached are you to your little brother?"
posted by arcticseal at 9:05 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


ah, architecture students.

that has to be one of the most terrible page layout/interfaces ever. why not just make blood meal if waste is a concern?
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 9:29 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll accept that animal blood is generally wasted, I'd be surprised if there was enough of it around in developing countries to use as a construction material. But it's novel, that's for sure.

No kidding. It may be a waste product, but I have a hard time believing that the production costs for the blood of domesticated food animals, particularly in terms of hydrocarbon expenditure, is less than limestone.

If anybody's got numbers on that, I'd love to see them.
posted by figurant at 9:37 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seems to me there are a lot of traditional recipes from all over the world that use blood in one way or another; I doubt blood goes unused in most places that would benefit from it. Large-scale industrialized carniculture might be another situation entirely.
posted by hattifattener at 10:03 PM on November 25, 2012


Cool idea. I wonder if the blood is substituting for something that's already widely made or available? (It's difficult for me to read the text on the images.) The blurb on the lefthand side does mention that these bricks would be apparently waterproof. I read a bit, said that the blood needed, along with glue, was anti-coagulant and preservative. Not sure how much of a obstacle that could be for high volume production. I would guess a (big? small?) part of blood and bone from slaughter houses already goes toward making fertilizers. Blood meal, as Conrad Casserole said.

Anyway, like hattifattener mentioned, I'd rather consume that blood. I could use a bowl of soup right now, with cubes of pig's blood cake, of course! :9
posted by one teak forest at 10:18 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


mixing in the sodium azide

Ahahaha. Are they really using sodium azide? That stuff is like cyanide that is also explosive. Are you sure this site isn't just a troll?
posted by ryanrs at 10:26 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I said HUMAN blood! Damn it. Leave the building site for a day or two...

::grumble::
posted by Splunge at 10:49 PM on November 25, 2012


The problem with painting your home blood red is that it always dries out to a pinkish color; you really have to keep on adding fresh layers of wet paint!
posted by pwnguin at 12:12 AM on November 26, 2012


This makes no sense whatsoever. Is it an art project? Why not just eat the blood?
posted by Iteki at 12:22 AM on November 26, 2012


In some cultures, blood is not eaten. Egypt is one of a great many places where blood is not eaten.

I can't see the people in the Siwa Oasis being ready for blood brick homes.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 12:30 AM on November 26, 2012


Well, the sodium azide (at 5 grams/liter blood according to the fuzzy jpeg) is there as a preservative, to keep your bloodcement from rotting or growing fungus, so I guess its poisonousness is a feature.
posted by hattifattener at 12:36 AM on November 26, 2012


Though on reflection, having giant fungi growing out of the walls of my bloodbrick home would just add to the charm, really.
posted by hattifattener at 12:37 AM on November 26, 2012


This makes no sense whatsoever. Is it an art project? Why not just eat the blood?
posted by Iteki at 12:22 AM on November 26 [+] [!]


I think the point is that society generally doesn't eat the blood. I presume it just goes out with waste water from many abattoirs. Or some may be used in Pet food?
posted by mary8nne at 12:56 AM on November 26, 2012


5g of sodium azide will fucking kill you.
posted by ryanrs at 1:39 AM on November 26, 2012


The problem with painting your home blood red is that it always dries out to a pinkish color; you really have to keep on adding fresh layers of wet paint!

At least the Blood God will be sated.
posted by Mezentian at 3:51 AM on November 26, 2012


Making glue from blood is a real thing, but this is either an expression of colossal stupidity or an elaborate troll. Sodium azide is extraordinarily toxic, explosive, and difficult to contain while treating it in the manner they recommend would, I think, risk producing hydrogen azide, which is that much more is extraordinarily toxic, explosive, and difficult to contain. Five grams of the stuff per liter is wildly fucking crazy and will fucking kill you if it doesn’t explode first.
posted by Blasdelb at 4:02 AM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Animal blood is one of the most prolific waste materials in the world. The blood drained from animal carcasses is generally thrown away or incinerated despite being a potentially useful product.

Maybe I'm being overly simplistic, but if we have a problem of too much blood, I think there's an easier solution than "let's build houses out of it". Maybe just kill fewer animals?
posted by DU at 4:07 AM on November 26, 2012


Thinking about this a little more, it tends to be that traditional practices are quite resourceful, in the literal sense. They will exploit anything that has a good use, and strongly mislike waste. That animal blood isn't widely used in things like this, suggests that its not so useful. Think of the other great animal waste product, shit. That was widely used for building and fuel, and even in developed countries (like England) you will still see folk go out of their way to gather it up. It's a pity that there is a taboo about blood as food in some places, as that seems to be its main use in many countries.
posted by Jehan at 4:18 AM on November 26, 2012


"Maybe I'm being overly simplistic, but if we have a problem of too much blood, I think there's an easier solution than "let's build houses out of it". Maybe just kill fewer animals?"

Better ideas:
"Biroldo (Italy) Also called sanguinaccio, an Italian blood sausage that usually contains pine nuts, raisins, pig’s snouts or pig’s skin, and either pig’s or cow’s blood.

Black Pudding (United Kingdom & Ireland) A sausage made of pig’s blood and a high proportion of oatmeal, which creates a dense texture. Always part of a traditional “full English breakfast.”

(Trinidad & Tobago) Pig’s or cow’s blood sausage with bread as filler plus chives, hot pepper, herbs, and spices. Often the mixture is cooked before it is stuffed in the casings. Traditionally served with hot sauce.

(Antigua & Barbuda) Sausage made from pig’s or cow’s blood mixed with rice; often confusingly called “rice pudding.”

(Barbados) A sausage of pig’s blood and sweet potatoes, traditionally served with souse (pickled pig’s head).

Blodpalt (Sweden) A potato dumpling enriched with blood (cow’s or pig’s in the south, reindeer’s in the north); boiled and served with grilled pork during the winter months.

Blood Tofu (China) Coagulated chicken’s, duck’s, cow’s, or goose’s blood cut into blocks. Called xu douf in China, it’s also served in Vietnam, Thailand, and other countries close to the Chinese border.

Blutwurst (Germany) Blood sausage made from pork, beef, blood, spices, and herbs; sometimes barley or oatmeal is included as filler.

Boudin Noir (France) A blood sausage containing cream with apples or onions as filler. Generally served with either cooked apples or mashed potatoes.

Chouriço de Sangue (Portugual) Effectively a version of chorizo with blood added.

Confrérie des Chevaliers du Goûte Boudin (France) AKA Brotherhood of the Knights of Blood Sausage. Created in 1963, this organization is based in southern Normandy and aims to identify the best blood sausages in France, preserve the recipes and techniques used to make blood sausage throughout France, and encourage the continued pursuit of the highest quality product.

Coq au vin (France) Chicken, capon, or rooster braised in red wine, bacon, mushrooms, and small white onions, with blood added at the end to thicken the sauce. Same techniques used in making civet, a game stew that usually calls for hare and hare’s blood.

Czarnina (Poland) Soup made of duck’s blood and clear poultry broth with a sweet-and-sour taste that comes from the use of sugar and/or dried fruits with vinegar.

Dinuguan (Philippines) Stew of pig’s stomach, intestines, ears, heart and snout simmered in rich spicy dark gravy of pig’s blood, garlic, chiles, and vinegar. Has earned the nickname of “chocolate meat” based on its creamy dark brown appearance.

Doi Huyet (Vietnam) A herbaceous pig’s blood sausage with ngo om (rice paddy herb), rau ram (Vietnamese coriander leaves), shrimp paste, and coriander leaves.

Drisheen (Ireland) A form of black pudding from county Cork originally made from sheep’s blood, cream, oatmeal or bread crumbs, spices, and the herbaceous plant tansy.

Foire au Boudin (France) The French Black Pudding Fair, usually held in March in the village of Mortagne-au-Perche, to award the coveted International Best Black Pudding Prize.

Kishka (Poland) Slavic word meaning “gut” or “intestine,” which lends its name to a variety of sausages or puddings. The Eastern European kishka is a sausage made with blood and buckwheat or barley, traditionally served at breakfast.

Morcilla (Spain) A sausage of pig’s blood and fat, rice, onions, and salt. Varieties include those made with bread crumbs, pine nuts, and almonds; also varieties vary the proportions of ingredients or flavorings, producing even a morcilla dulce, which is fried and served as a dessert. In Chile, morcilla is called prieta, and in Panama and Colombia it’s called rellena or tubería negra.

Moronga (Cuba, Puerto Rico, Central America & Mexico) A sausage made of pig’s blood, spices, herbs (such as oregano and mint), onions, and chiles often served in a red or green chile sauce.

Mustamakkara (Finland) A blood sausage specialty of Tampere made by mixing pork, pig’s blood, crushed rye, and flour traditionally eaten with lingonberry jam.

Mykyrokka (Finland) Also called tappaiskeitto or “butchery soup,” containing myky, a dumpling made from blood and rye flour cooked in a soup that contains potatoes, onions, and offal.

Saksang (Indonesia) An obligatory dish in marriage celebrations, this spicy preparation from northern Sumatra can contain minced pork, dog, and/or water buffalo meat stewed in blood and coconut milk flavored with kaffir limes, coriander, chiles, lemongrass, ginger, galangal, and turmeric.

Sângerete (Romania) A sausage made from pork shoulder or butt, pig’s blood, and filler such as pre-boiled rice seasoned with pepper, garlic, and basil.

Soondae (Korea) A street food blood sausage that can be stuffed with a wide variety of ingredients, such as cellophane noodles, barley, sesame leaves, fish, fermented soy paste, rice, kimchi, or bean sprouts.

Ti-Hoeh-Koe (Taiwan) Also known as pig’s blood popsicle or pig’s blood cake. This street snack is made of pig’s blood and sticky rice that is most often fried or steamed, coated with chile sauce, then rolled in crushed peanuts and cilantro. Another use is as an ingredient for the traditional hot pot, where it’s added for texture, color, and flavor.

Tiet Canh (Vietnamese) Made from raw blood, usually duck’s or goose’s, sprinkled with crushed peanuts and chopped herbs. The finished dish is refrigerated, which allows the blood to coagulate, then eaten immediately with fresh herbs and lime juice.

Verivorst (Estonia) A blood sausage similar to the Finnish mustamakkara eaten mostly in winter as a traditional Christmas food and served with lingonberry jam, butter, or sour cream.

Zungenwurst (Germany) Known as blood tongue, this variety of German head cheese made with pig’s blood, suet, bread crumbs, oatmeal, and chunks of pickled ox’s tongue—bears some resemblance to blood sausage with large cubes of fat and tongue throughout. It’s commonly sliced and browned in butter or bacon fat. "

posted by Blasdelb at 4:23 AM on November 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


The blood drained from animal carcasses is generally thrown away or incinerated despite being a potentially useful product.

Not even used for fertilizer?
posted by pracowity at 4:27 AM on November 26, 2012


I don't really have access to any unneeded blood. What can I build out of cat shit?
posted by orme at 5:01 AM on November 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


> What can I build out of cat shit?

Action figures.
posted by de at 5:26 AM on November 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


*Looking at unspeakably tiny bedroom*

*Looking at area available for nice spacious addition*

*Looking at houseful of dogs and cats*
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:52 AM on November 26, 2012


After looking at that long list of food made directly from blood, I'm actually thinking that using it as a building material isn't so bad. Relatively speaking.
posted by DU at 6:28 AM on November 26, 2012


The earliest rawl plugs were horsehair bonded with blood. Something to think about next time you're drilling your walls.
posted by WPW at 12:40 PM on November 26, 2012


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