Development of the construction world had increased in many aspects, one of them is the innovation of the construction material. In 2008, researchers at the University of Cape Town discovered a material that is environmentally friendly to be used as a construction material. The discovery was to create a bio brick from the human urine.

According to a master’s student at the university and one of the bio-brick’s developers, Suzanne Lambert, this brick is believed to be an alternative that can even replace the use of conventional bricks. This bio-brick is made by mixing sand and bacteria that produce urases. Urase is an enzyme that breaks down urea in the urine, which at the same time produces calcium carbonate.

This mixture then produces the same bricks as the limestone. The difference is on its strength, where the strength of the brick made of this urine can be adjusted from how long the bacteria in it is left to grow. The longer the bacteria in the brick are left to grow, the stronger the material is. The use of urine is one of the efforts undertaken by researchers to reduce waste.

It is uncertain how much bio-bricks would cost to be produced in a large scale. In addition to costs, the urine collecting process would also be a problem, as a single bio-brick takes about five gallons of urine to produce.

But innovations in the use of urine in brick making also have many benefits. One of them is the ongoing concept that has been widely accomplished. The continuing concept of this bio-brick manufacturing process lies in the waste. After the brick dough is dried with combustion process. The brick burning process leaves nitrogen and potassium that can be utilized into fertilizer.


Aouf, R. (2018, November 06). Bio-bricks made from human urine could be environmentally friendly future of architecture. Retrieved July 24, 2020, from