How to build a house with Lego like building bricks

Would you like to build a real home, on a shoestring, using huge Lego-shaped bricks?

Lego like building bricks
Lego like building bricks

Sure, create a beautiful house with our own hands, pull it up easily and in a short time, who wouldn't like that? And truth be told,the materials needed to make this dream come true,are already on the market.

They are essentially plastic bricks used for building, totally similar to Lego that adopt the same constructive characteristics.

The bricks can be stuck on each other in a very simple way.During the construction phase, they are connected in an even more secure way with the use of threaded steel rods and bolts. This product is called SpeedyBrick and can also allow the fans of DIY, even those who are not so familiar with the construction techniques, to pull over a building in a short period of time.

Although the idea is not particularly new as it has been mentioned since 2009, what we need to ask is whether it is worthwhile to build a house with plastic Lego-style bricks and if this is technically feasible.

The answer is that,in a country like Italy where buildings are constructed in a certain way, the construction of a DIY home is essentially impossible as it is mandatory, of course,to have a building permit allowing you to build and this is also a project carried out by a qualified professional that follows and certifies the progress of work.

In addition, due to the law on safety in the workplaces, you may not even get on a scaffold, and risk the seizure of the yard along with a hefty fine.

To build in Italy, and in many other places in Europe, you have to tuck into a bureaucratic quagmire that just makes the possibility of building a house by yourself not feasible.

On the other hand this is not necessarily bad, since we know well the scourge of unauthorized building and what and how much damage, in terms of loss of lives, it has caused some due to the occurrence of extreme weather events because of increasing climate change. You can imagine what would happen if people started putting up plastic buildings overnight.

Since this is what we are talking about: building with plastic bricks allow you to build a house within twenty days that could mean seeing a house completed before you could even realize that the construction had started.

So, summing up, we can say that the materials to build a building by yourself exist, that the construction is really easy to accomplish, and that it's the bureaucratic standards in many countries that substantially prevent such activities.

But back to our plastic blocks and let's make even clearer, through some videos, what we are talking about and how these special blocks work.

The first video refers to the most known material, and I also got to see it at the Made Expo in Milan last year. It's called Bildo, was devised by Alfiero Piraccini and for more information you can refer to this website:

www.bildoitalia.it

and this is the product video

Here is another product that essentially adopts the same design. Created by Ronnie Zohar, this modular brick is called Kite Bricks. The product is currently only a prototype, and the company is in the process of fundraising to begin production itself.

Here is the video of how you could build a house by adopting this system:

 

Finally, we come to the last product,called EasyBrick,by the P.M. 2 LTD of Brescia (Italy). In this case the product seems to be directed mostly to a use in recreation for the creation of small buildings easy to disassemble, at a later stage.

The reference site is:

Now let's try to indicate the advantages and disadvantages of these building blocks in plastic material. Let's start with the advantages.

The advantages of the building with plastic blocks

The advantages, substantially highlighted by all manufacturers, are the following:

  • Ease of installation even by "unskilled" staff . Basically it would be like playing with Lego, only,in this case, you would use the blocks to build real houses
  • Savings on construction costs that can vary from 40 to 80%. As the bricks are very easy to assemble it considerably reduces the labor used and the related costs. In twenty days you can build a house by yourself
  • Construction yards remain clean since the bricks do not require to be tied with mortar but only stuck together. So forget the mortar, debris and anything else
  • Ability to slide pipes and installations through the bricks without the need for slits
  • Thermo-acoustic insulation. The material (in most cases the Polypropylene) is really an excellent insulating material that allows you to reduce heating costs and soundproofs environments
  • It is emphasized that the plastic brick would be an environmentally friendly material because it is made from recycled materials and can be recycled again
  • Fully load-bearing walls
  • Ability to literally dismantle the walls in case of errors or in case you wish to move the house "elsewhere"

The disadvantages of the building with plastic blocks

Let us now see what are the reasons that could discourage the use of these materials.

  • Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer, in a nutshell, a petroleum derivative. Need we say that a house built with this material, even if recyclable, is absolutely not an ecological solution?
  • Have you ever built a house out of Lego? If the answer is yes you will have noticed how the result was an extremely boxy and angular structure. The same can be said for these buildings. Unless future realization of "special parts" you can forget different shapes from the usual, common, rectangular.
  • Wanting to be critical, as mentioned at the beginning, the ease of construction may be an invitation to illegal.
  • Speaking of a substantially impermeable material it is true that it has a high thermal and acoustic insulation, but it is equally true that we would find ourselves living as in a glass jar. Such a house, constructed with these materials, doesn't "breathe" and the internal environment can only become unhealthy, in such conditions.
  • Remember the tale of the three little pigs? Would you feel safe and protected inside a plastic house?

In conclusion: the innovation of building materials is constant, and this can not be that good. However if you have not yet seen around you some"plastic" houses, despite the fact that certain products have been on the market for years, there may be a reason for that. Personally, with all the passion I have for the do-it-yourself, I'd never choose these Lego-like bricks to build the house of my dreams.

It is a different matter though if we move on the construction of industrial or agricultural buildings. Estimating the actual costs of materials, it could be interesting to have factories built with these systems.

If we remember the earthquakes that occur in many places all over the world, we also remember how many people have lost their lives in concrete buildings which not only have they not sustained the brunt of the quake but they have also revealed extremely inefficient structures unable to absorb all this energy. It could also be interesting to build stables with this material; in environments where air circulation is frequent the question on healthiness should not arise.

The garage could also be built with this system. Finally, this material could be found (and in part already located) valid for use in the construction of temporary structures of trade fair type, for example. Where there is need to build and then demolish the buildings, to move them elsewhere, and reconstruct them again, these bricks could be by far the most cost-effective solution.

If you are looking for a material for the house of your dreams, however, look further.

DIY Editor
Do-it-yourself enthusiast. I started with the renovation of my flat and then I changhed this passion into my job.