Faculty-Designed LEGO-like ‘Smart Bricks’ Lay New Ground in Construction

Ask an architect what their favorite childhood toy was and chances are he or she will say Legos. Over the last few years, Lego has embraced its relationship to architecture, producing models of famous buildings or houses in different countries worldwide. However, the world has not yet seen Lego-like “smart bricks” that can be used in real construction.Created by Muayad Rimawi, a teaching faculty member of the Department of Architectural Engineering, Smart Bricks are made in molds of different shapes and sizes and can be fastened together easily and effortlessly with a special adhesive, rather than with mortar like normal bricks.Rimawi developed his innovation to add to the construction market an efficient and  inexpensive tool for building, allowing a simple frame with no mess or wreckage.“My goal is to shake up traditional construction methods by offering a suitable tool for houses and buildings that is cheaper, more efficient and more handy than typical construction materials,” he said.Rimawi’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit has taken its first step to notoriety with a registration certificate from the Ministry of National Economy.“This innovation is a basic turn towards modernization and development in the construction sector and the domestic economy as a whole, as it can be placed under the concept of Palestinian contributions to the long-term socio-economic development of Palestine,” an official from the Ministry of Economy said.Department of Architectural Engineering member Jamal Amro described the Smart Brick as a unique product in the construction industry. “Rimawi was very brave to even think of this idea. While the bricks’ look exactly like Legos, their strength and thermal performance is undeniable.”“The most resounding reward for me was that I gained this recognition from the Ministry of Economy,” Rimawi said. “I am hoping that this can make a significant change in the construction industry worldwide.”