Innovation That Matters

In Colombia, semi-hollow brick design will keep buildings cool


Bloque Termodisipador BT is a re-engineered clay brick that will naturally regulate a building's temperature.

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Most countries are actively searching for alternatives to environmentally unsustainable materials such as clay fired bricks. We have already seen the Eco BLAC brick from India and a carbon negative building block from the UK. Now, from Colombia, architects Miguel Niño and Johanna Navarro have created the Bloque Termodisipador BT — a re-engineered clay brick that will naturally regulate a building’s temperature.


The Bloque Termodisipador BT is a reworking of one of Colombia’s most popular building materials. The design is a combination of triangular and rectangular forms with a semi-hollow core. One side of each brick uses a stark angle to reflect sunlight off and shade the surface below, while the hollow interior enables ventilation. These features combine to offer more protection from sunlight than a traditional flat brick wall, also limiting heat transfer from outside in countries where air conditioning is often unaffordable.


The Bloque Termodisipador BT can be mass produced and could even reduce the need for insulation and finishes, since the product is aesthetically interesting. Niño and Navarro’s design can be purchased from their company Sumart Diseño y Arquitectura SAS. We’ve already seen a facade that ‘breathes’ to cool office towers using zero net energy. Could any other building essentials be re-engineered with sustainability at its core?



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