I received an email today with pictures of a home being constructed, wondering why that warrants a mention here? Well the home had walls made of mud and recycled plastic bottles! I remembered seeing it somewhere long time back, think it was either on Discovery or on Natgeo, not sure. Anyways the pictures had no details and the finished homes kind of had an adobe like South American flair, so thought the best way would be to do a web search. On searching I came across this website Eco-Tec Soluciones Ambientes based in Latinamerica.
Eco-Tec is the brainchild of Andreas Froese a German construction engineer who found his calling in helping the poor and disadvantaged build homes out of waste materials. Froese began to develop his technique in 2001 in Honduras and since then has made over 50 different bottle construction projects around the world. One article about him starts with the liens Andreas Froese is in love with trash! it could not be more simply put.
How is it built?
The method includes filling the bottles with sand and stacking them in rows on top of each other. On the walls, every bottle is tied to one another to create a network, with one tie at the neck and another tie at the base of the bottle. Agricultural twine (sisal or nylon) is widely available. Bottles are first cleaned out and the labels etc removed.
A mesh screen is used to screen rubble, earth, or foundry castings into usable grades. They always use local materials. In cities, they use rubble, while in rural areas river sand or earth is used. Clean plastic debris and plastic bags may be used to fill the bottle bricks. A funnel, made from the top half cut from a plastic PET bottle is used to fill the bottles. The drier the materials the easier it is to fill the bottles.
On the walls they typically use a clay soil mix similar to adobe, however rice husk or grass may be added. To strengthen the structure in wet climates, every 4-6 rows a mixture of lime and cement is used to avoid problems. If one does not have sand, a soil mixture may be used with up to 1 part cement, 10 parts soil, and 0.5 part lime.
Eco-Tec says their PET-bottle buildings are very much like an adobe. In general, they say PET-bottle houses are bioclimatic in design, which means that when it’s cold outside is warm inside and vice versa.
- Makes use of plastic bottles which mostly end up in land fills.
- Reduces CO2 emissions from the non-usage of bricks (bricks need to be baked there by release a large amount of CO2 into the air).
- Looks unique and being bio-climatic will help in reducing power consumption.
Check out the Eco-tec videos below
1. Why Eco-tec?
2. How to make a bottle brick – starring Andreas Froese:
For More details visit – http://eco-tecnologia.com