Lego-like bricks make house construction child’s play

Lego-like bricks make house construction child’s play
Lego for grown-ups
Lego for grown-ups
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Lego for grown-ups
Lego for grown-ups
The interlocking bricks aim to cut construction time without compromising strength and stability
The interlocking bricks aim to cut construction time without compromising strength and stability
The sustainable bricks measure up well (figures in Canadian dollars)
The sustainable bricks measure up well (figures in Canadian dollars)
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If you ever played with interlocking brick toys as a kid, or even as an adult, you're instantly qualified to build a house with Plaex blocks, according to the team behind a strong, recycled construction material that appears to have a lot of people rather excited.

The brick in question is one made out of "Plaex-crete," a strong composite made up of more than 90% recycled plastic, which is shredded and cleaned and put through an extruder to produce a cement-style paste. The finished product is essentially this paste, plus some extra stuff for the remaining 10% (colorants plus UV and flame inhibitors). The final block is 35% lighter than a traditional brick its size.

🏗️ Build with Confidence: Discover the Quality and Ease of PLAEX Bricks! 🌟

But, back to the easy no-fuss building method, as the bricks click into place without cuts or mortar. The company says a double-story build would take 11-12 days with minimal equipment, which means it's either aimed for ambitious yet novice DIYers, or a whole different market completely – such as our future humanoid robot bricklayers.

"We believe that automation is about to transform our world, in a shift bigger than the Automobile and the smart phone combined," the team writes. "The Future of automation is here today. From 3D printing to robotic placing arms to humanoid robots. There are many companies now beginning deliveries of humanoid robots to warehouses and factory floors near you. Automation and cooperative robots are no longer science fiction.

"We Look forward to one day soon having fleets of robots assembling and modifying truly circular and affordable buildings," they add.

Plaex creator Dustin Bowers is a carpenter by trade, but had a reckoning in 2017 when he became a father and took stock of how wasteful the construction industry is. That year he had another lightbulb moment while reading a research paper on the use of plastic as an aggregate in concrete. (PL-astic, A-ggregate and EX-truder then provided the startup's name.)

Plastics including PETE, LDPE, PP and HDPE (but not PVC or PS) types are sourced from "extended producer responsibility" (EPR) partners, most often in the form of farm and agriculture waste. The waste is then processed and pressed into LinX blocks for landscape walls and circular angling, and Brick&Panel blocks for wall builds.

According to their form guide, they measure up against a range of materials.

The sustainable bricks measure up well (figures in Canadian dollars)
The sustainable bricks measure up well (figures in Canadian dollars)

They're apparently hard to break, too (however, you wouldn't really need a 'demo-day' to take down a wall, since the bricks can be disassembled much like a Lego tower).

Discover the Unmatched Strength of Our Sustainable Bricks! 💪🌍

They measure up well in a tractor-ramming test, too...

🚜 Watch as we put our PLAEX Bricks to the test against a tractor! 🚜

While the blocks are available to order now, the company is working towards permits for use in houses; at the moment, they're only approved for use in storage, walls and landscaping. The team recently collaborated with JOT Design to show how the products could be used in home design, as they head towards full certification.

Case Study House flythrough

Source: Plaex

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The graphic shows bare walls in and out. Can these blocks be screwed in to put insulation and dry wall?
Spud Murphy
There's more than recycled plastic in these, at 1660kg/m3 they are much denser than any common plastic.
Treon Verdery
Physical objects, like these polymer construction bricks, have a resonance frequency where they will accumulate more and more energy. The
Plaex things could be manufactured to have an approximate resonance frequency, and then robots or humans could use vibra-tampers to jiggle the blocks into very high mating congruity, decreased air-crack energy wasting gap width, and then, during disassembly, the vibration could make them come apart very easily. Both vibra-tamped assembly and taking apart might make the robots able to work twice as fast.
Seems like an interesting idea but jumping to both a new material and a new construction seems a bit wild.
Presume they can come with a joint with resin impregnated one side with a hardener that would allow them to stick long term.
Designed for addition of a facing material - maybe screw straight into the material.??
Flammability? Do they float? How would they behave in an earthquake?
Uncle Anonymous
Reading this brings out a lot of questions:

- how do you add insulation/ drywall to the interior?
- could this be used to make a foundation, and if so how would it be waterproofed, and how would insulation be added?
- for a second story, how do you incorporate beams to support the 2nd floor?
- how would you replace an interlocking brick that had been damaged if it wasn't one of the top row?
Oh well I see in comments in here much more experts with questions probably never asked by "Plaex-crete" experts themselves....
Douglas Rogers
Every alternative building concept I see is for walls only. The brick wall pretty much disappeared in the 50's. This will be hard to interface with roofs and floors, which are mostly wood.