Say hello to plastic bottles! These days, plastic bottles have gone beyond drinking and throwing away to drinking and stacking up for construction. Some might be amazed; some even go as far as imagining how houses would look like if built with plastic bottle. Some wonder if it is even possible to build with bottles. Well good news is it is; some people have been very resourceful with their waste products over the years.
Recently researches have been carried out and it’s been discovered that some have been constructing houses with unconventional materials. These unconventional materials are materials we don’t build our everyday houses with. They are used for other major purposes aside building construction. Such materials include maize, candle wax, rice, cake, salt, plastic bottles, beer bottles, silo etc. Weird as it may appear, they are actually used creatively as a major material to build. Good news is it costs little or nothing and can also serve same purposes as the conventional concrete, glass, bricks, wood and steel including in strength and flexibility.
Here we shall be treating the plastic bottles and we hope in due time we shall be able to bring you the detailed construction methods of other unconventional materials. First of all, I would like to endear you and tell you why not to worry and go ahead and build with these materials instead of waiting endlessly for conventional materials you can’t afford. Here are some plain benefits:
• Cheap and Within Reach: Yes they are! All you have to do is stacking up those empty plastic bottles you drink with. If they are not enough you can go round your neighborhood and source lots and lots of plastic bottles. And that is all you have to do.
• Bio-Climatic: Bottle packs are bio-friendly. They are in no way harmful to the occupants of the building. Bottle packs go positively with climatic conditions and so do not in any way contribute to discomfort experienced in a building. They increase the well-being of the occupants of the building.
• Re-usable: these plastics can be completely reused. All you have to do is dismantle them and use them again wherever and whenever you want to use them.
• Easy and Less Stressful: they are very easy to handle. There is no much ingredient of professionalism needed. All you have do is be handy enough to follow instructions; and know your “how-do”.
• Strength: fragile as they look, they are as strong if not stronger than bricks. They are carefully packaged, arranged and erected in a way they turn to be stronger than bricks. They do not break in pieces like bricks.
• They are Bullet Proof: Of course you can’t shoot right through a pack of sand can you? Bottle packs are arranged such that the thickness of the wall is synonymous to the length of the bottle. You can’t possibly shoot through a pack of sand that length.
• They are Fire Proof: No need for any special fire proof installations around the house. These bottle packs can’t be burnt in fire.
• Insulation: the sand inside the bottles makes excellent insulation that helps hold the African tropical heat outside and relative coolness inside.
• Lasts Long: Bottle can last as long as 300 years (undoubtedly longer than the cement used to bind the bottles together in the walls!).
• They keep a snug year round temperature of 64 degrees
• They are energy self sufficient.
1. Your first step is to collect as many discarded plastic bottles as you can. They can be of various capacities.
2. Next step is to find a place where you can get a hell load of dry sand (finer, the better).
3. Next process is to take the bottles, fill them with sand, sealed and then paste them with a mixture made of earth, clay, sawdust and a little cement to provide additional strength and durability. The following video shows how to fill the bottle.
4. Now you are all set. Always start with the pillar. You can have as many pillars as you want, but not less than 3.
5. Dig a cylindrical pit about 60cm in depth. The radius should be at least 10cm more than the length of the bottle that you are going to use for constructing the pillar.
6. Make a cement bed (about 4cm thickness) in the pit. Insert a long iron/steel rod at the centre. Tie a long and strong thread to the rod. Now we are going to lay 10 or 11 bottles around this rod. For this, first lay a bottle on the bed such that the bottle is radially oriented towards the centre. (i.e., the cap is oriented towards the rod).
7. Take the thread and make a knot around the neck of the bottle you just laid. Put the next bottle in similar way keeping in mind that the caps of the 2 bottles touch each other. Make a knot around the 2nd bottle also. Repeat the steps until you lay all the 11 bottles. You have made your first course of bottles.
8. Fill in the gaps between the bottles with rubble and cement. Make the next bed and continue this process till you fill the entire pit.Hurray! Your foundation is complete. Leave it for a few hours so that the cement will solidify.
9. After you have made the foundation for all your pillars, you can start building the pillar. Lay the bottles like you did for the foundation, and you will see your pillars rising. You can put broken bricks or other construction wastes between the bottles so that they don’t move.
10. Now if you want you can plaster your pillar with cement. This pillar is many times stronger much cheaper than an ordinary pillar made with bricks.
After building all the pillars, you are ready to make the platform.
1. Make an outline of your platform with chalk powder or any color powders.
2. Make a Clay bed about 5cm height and width=5 cm > length of the bottles. This bed runs along the perimeter of the platform.
3. Now lay the bottles (with their neck facing outwards) one by one on this bed and tie them to each other as shown in the picture. After laying a course, fill the inside area with cement, clay or rubble. If you want to make more courses, make sure that you knot each bottle of the underlying course with the above course as shown in the picture. This is to impart more strength to the structure.
4. This is your platform. Now put tiles or ceramics for flooring.
5. You can put any type of roof over this because the pillars are really strong enough to hold them.
6. Create your own designs, and build your own structures with this cheap construction method