Bricks made from human urine


Originally published at:


Impossible to take the piss out of any building constructed with these bricks, no matter how ugly it might be.




Urine has always been considered valuable, it wasn’t until the age of modern plumbing that human urine stopped being reused and processed for industrial applications. At least to the degree that it used to be, they likely do try to reuse human waste after treatment but the treatment part is energy and labor intensive.


Getting concrete-like results without using concrete is a big environmental win:


“I see,” says President Trump, thinking back to a hotel room in Moscow.


I’ve heard the phrase “shitting bricks” but never “pissing bricks.” Sounds painful.


The urine part is interesting but this is the real winner.


My cats make bricks out of urine and clumping litter. It never occurred to me to use them to build a little kitty-house. Wouldn’t that just smell fine after a summer rain?


Ummm… that’s… good?



Pecunia non olet (“money does not stink”) is a Latin saying. The phrase is ascribed to the Roman emperor Vespasian (ruled AD 69–79).

Vespasian imposed a Urine Tax (Latin: vectigal urinae) on the distribution of urine from public urinals in Rome’s Cloaca Maxima (great sewer) system. (The Roman lower classes urinated into pots which were emptied into cesspools.) The urine collected from public urinals was sold as an ingredient for several chemical processes. It was used in tanning, and also by launderers as a source of ammonia to clean and whiten woolen togas. The buyers of the urine paid the tax.

The Roman historian Suetonius reports that when Vespasian’s son Titus complained about the disgusting nature of the tax, his father held up a gold coin and asked whether he felt offended by its smell (sciscitans num odore offenderetur). When Titus said “No”, Vespasian replied, “Yet it comes from urine” (Atqui ex lotio est).

The phrase Pecunia non olet is still used today to say that the value of money is not tainted by its origins.


Which reminds me – what was that one line from that one song?

Oh yes:

“Someone left a urinal cake out in the rain.”


Don’t piss on my cake and tell me it’s raining.


Preppers swear by freeze dried urine; it has a 30 year shelf life.


Time for Harry King to make an appearance.


But will they ever leak that recipe again?


The technical term for “pissing bricks” is kidney stones, and passing them is usually a very painful process.


That reminds me. It’s almost time for me to re-read Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle.


Nutrient pollution is a real problem. The urine part is more than just interesting, it’s pretty damn important.


Three things we won’t be running out of any time soon.