Harnessing Iceland’s Molten Lava to Create Building Materials

Architects at Reykjavík-based Studio Arnhildur Pálmadóttir are researching ways to harness molten lava from Iceland’s volcanoes to use as a natural building material; an alternative to current materials which are responsible for 11% of annual global CO2 emissions. A recent project called Lavaforming details three different ways to cultivate lava: digging trenches for lava to flow into when a volcano erupts, drilling into magma before volcanoes erupt and 3D-printing bricks with molten lava. While the idea seems audacious and ambitious, studio founder (and namesake) Arnhildur Pálmadóttir notes that much of the equipment required for it already exists in similar forms (like in geothermal energy). Currently, the project is centered on Iceland’s abundant lava fields, but it can be applied to the 1,500 other active volcanoes around the world. Learn more about this radical, sustainable idea at Fast Company.

Image courtesy of Arnhildur Pálmadóttir