San Francisco, CA — In recent years, San Francisco and other large California cities have experienced a spike in homeless populations. Some blame the cost of housing. Some say its liberal policies that attract marginalized populations. Whatever the cause, San Francisco has been the target of many reports of a growing problem with human waste on its streets.
And following a recent court ruling that says homeowners can’t restrict and block access to homeless people left the city with few solutions.
That is until Salesforce.com’s CEO Marc Benioff came up with an ingenious idea: why not use human waste to build new facilities and structures around the Bay Area. ShitBricks™ are the brainchild of Mr. Benioff’s Research and Development team located in San Francisco.
In May of this year, the successful leader of Saleforce.com donated $30 million of his fortune to help battle homelessness in the Bay Area. However, little did anyone know that he had also created a task force inside of his company to develop long-term solutions for the less fortunate. One of their first creations was ShitBricks™.
“We set out to do something about the homeless problem in the Bay Area,” said Mr. Benioff speaking with CNN earlier this week. “We had several prototypes, but ShitBricks™ was the project that kept rising to the top of the pile. And it makes perfect sense. We can clean up the City and create things like affordable housing and shelters for the underprivileged.”
An Innovation Borrowed From the Past
It’s not the first time humans have used feces as a building material. Ancient civilizations used human and animal waste to construct and heat their homes. In the United States, Southern Baptists were famous for their “crap structures” in the early 20th Century, many of which are still standing today.
“We’ve developed a process to harvest, process, and reinforce human waste into a viable building material,” continued Mr. Benioff. “Then we form them into these large modular bricks which can be used for a variety of purposes. We’re in talks to use ShitBricks™ for the new San Francisco Convention Center and possibly repairs on the Bay Bridge.”
Mr. Benioff wouldn’t disclose the secret process his team at Salesforce developed to create ShitBricks™, but he did mention that hemp played a significant role.
“Hemp, when properly processed, is as durable, if not more, than reinforced concrete. Combined with 30% hemp fibers, the stuff’s stronger than steel and much more fun. We can get the structure as high as we want, thus proportionately keeping property taxes down.”
And early investor in ShitBricks™ is U2’s Bono, who said that not only was this a good investment, it’s an investment that helps people.
According to Mr. Benioff, ShitBricks™ has already been deployed for a new prototype building in San Francisco’s South Beach, and the City is planning at least four more structures in the next six months.