Meet Omar Sánchez Vázquez, a nursery owner in Puerto Morelos, Mexico. Recently Omar built an entire house made from seaweed bricks.
Sargassum is a brown seaweed that has recently exploded in abundance and has taken over beaches and even ports throughout Mexico. The seaweed boom is attributed to warming waters and nutrient runoff from onshore agriculture. The problem has gotten so bad that hotel chains have spent millions to clean the beaches and the Mexican navy has started “attacking” the massive rafts of Sargassum out at sea. Where most people saw the Sargassum as a problem Omar saw an opportunity. He designed an organic, thermal and functional construction material. The same technique used to make adobe bricks is used to make Sargassum bricks, however, the Sargassum bricks are 50% cheaper than adobe. Omar claims these Sargassum bricks are hard enough to withstand a hurricane. And in case you were wondering, the bricks don’t smell like rotting seaweed says Omar in an interview.