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Next On Elon Musk’s List? Bricks For Low-Cost Housing

This week, the tech magnate tweeted plans to enter the brick business—using “excavated muck” from Boring Co.’s test tunnel in Los Angeles.

Next On Elon Musk’s List? Bricks For Low-Cost Housing
[Image: The Boring Company]

Elon Musk’s red carpet entrance alongside pop star Grimes at the Met Ball Gala—the annual prom for the fashion world and Hollywood elite—wasn’t his only surprise this week. On Monday, the perennially puzzling tech magnate also furthered his plans for a new side venture: Bricks.

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“The Boring Company will be using dirt from tunnel digging to create bricks for low-cost housing,” Musk wrote, in direct response to critics who asked why he wasn’t applying his massive wealth to pressing issues like the growing national housing crisis. The statement follows a March 26 tweet, in which Musk described “Lifesize Lego-like interlocking bricks made from tunneling rock that you can use to create sculptures & buildings.”

It’s surprising news from the prolific Willy Wonka of startups, who’s previously claimed plans to start peddling everything from candy (an apparent troll to Berkshire Hathaway) to flamethrowers (an actual thing that sells for $500 on the Boring Company’s website and has generated millions).

A representative from the company confirmed the plans with Bloomberg, stating that “there will be an insane amount of bricks,” manufactured from all of the displaced dirt and “excavated muck” currently being dug up from Los Angeles, where Boring Co. began working on a 30-foot-wide test tunnel last year, in its latest efforts to bring its ambitions for the super-speed Hyperloop transit system closer to reality.

Musk’s intentions to repurpose the excavated dirt for a social cause may seem logistically sound and even commendable, but the idea may be half-baked. Bloomberg points out that producing bricks alone aren’t going to solve the crisis, which is driven by the cost of skilled labor, construction, and land prices. What’s more, Boring’s excavation site is known to carry contaminated soil from years of industrial runoff and pollution. Still, the company told Bloomberg that its own offices will be built from the Lego-like brick if all goes according to plan. We’ll be curious to see the house that Boring built.

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About the author

Aileen Kwun is a writer based in New York City. She is the author of Twenty Over Eighty: Conversations On a Lifetime in Architecture and Design (Princeton Architectural Press), and was previously a senior editor at Dwell and Surface.

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