Porous Brick by Yi Design Combats Urban Flooding
Hong Kong/ Terra/ Sustainability

Yi Design’s Porous Brick Tackles Urban Flooding and Ceramic Waste

Yi Designs Porous Brick Tackles Urban Flooding and Ceramic Waste Header 2 Photo by Website/Dezeen

Chinese materials company Yi Design has introduced an innovative solution to combat urban flooding by developing the Permeable YiBrick, a porous brick made from recycled ceramic waste. This groundbreaking product has the potential to revolutionize urban infrastructure and reduce the environmental impact of ceramic waste.

The Permeable YiBrick is created using 90 percent recycled ceramic waste sourced from industrial porcelain manufacturers in Jingdezhen, known as the ceramics capital of China. With China producing a staggering 18 million tonnes of ceramic waste annually, much of it illegally dumped or buried, Yi Design aims to address this pressing issue.

Yi Design collects waste from selected local producers and combines it using a non-organic chemical binder, ensuring the final product is free from plastics and cement. This sustainable approach results in a durable material that consists of up to 97 percent recycled waste, making the Permeable YiBrick highly porous and robust.

The unique properties of the Permeable YiBrick make it an ideal alternative to conventional cement bricks, particularly in areas prone to flooding. By harvesting rainwater and allowing it to permeate through the ground, this brick helps divert excess water from the sewage system and replenish the water table. Such a feature is especially valuable in sponge cities, urban spaces designed to retain stormwater and gradually release it, as well as in outdoor paving areas, gardens, and as a base for water fountains.

Already making waves in sustainable architecture, the Permeable YiBrick has been utilized in diverse projects, including the tiled wall of a store for fashion brand COS in Shanghai's Century Plaza shopping mall. Its environmental benefits and innovative design have earned it a spot in the sustainable building product category of the prestigious 2023 Dezeen Awards.

With the Permeable YiBrick, Yi Design is paving the way for a more sustainable and flood-resistant future. By repurposing ceramic waste into durable building materials, this initiative not only reduces waste but also showcases the potential of circular economy practices. As we seek alternative solutions to combat climate change, innovations like the Permeable YiBrick offer hope for a greener and more resilient world.

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