Bricks and clicks

In a world that is going off plastic, where construction is a key contributor to global warming and where sustainability is rising quickly up the corporate agenda, the idea of creating buildings that typically only last minutes using non-recyclable plastic bricks doesn’t quite fit. That’s a bit of head scratcher for LEGO, which basically does just that. However, the ingenious Danes have a target to make all bricks sustainably by 2030 and are reportedly cooking a plan to move into the circular economy using a rental model. Once one gets beyond the practical challenges, such as returning the bit of someone’s head that fell down the back of the sofa, there could be a much wider application. The case for building with modular components that tesselate perfectly with each other and can be constructed, deconstructed and reconstructed with ease feels eminently sensible to scale up to bigger projects than a miniature version of the Millennium Falcon. Proof of concept comes from a gentleman in Surrey who in 2009 created a life-sized LEGO house including a working shower, toilet and bed, and a 114 feet tall tower in Milan built by thousands of children. With over 4 hundred billion LEGO bricks in existence, could their reapplication to real life structures provide a boon to the global construction market? On the plus side there would be millions of children worldwide who would happily provide their labour for free. On the flip side, the planning authorities might have to get used to the idea of rainbow coloured buildings.