From bottles to buildings

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A house constructed from recycled plastic bottles has been built in Kaduna State, Nigeria.


The house has been built using earth-filled plastic bottle ‘bricks’ and mud. The three-room structure is so sturdy that it could stand for thousands of years.

recycling for the environment

Plastic bottles take hundreds years to biodegrade in landfill. In Nigeria millions of plastic bottles are dumped into waterways and landfill each year causing pollution, erosion, irrigation blockages and health problems. 

Bottle houses take this dangerous waste out of the environment and make it useful.

Katrin Macmillan launched Nigeria’s bottle recycling programme in December 2010. Used plastic bottles and their lids are now being collected from hotels, restaurants, homes and embassies and, so far, thousands of bottles have been collected for the bottle house builds. This is what she had to say about the project:
“Nigeria has a serious waste and energy problem and this project is one small step towards making positive changes. This project can be easily replicated and is a wonderful way to enable Nigeria to recycle in a creative and practical way. Following on from this first Nigerian  bottle house the children at the African School of Excellence in Seluja have started making the bottle ‘bricks’ for their new school hall and students will be involved throughout the build. The school hall will take 200,000 bottles out of landfill and into education.”

energy

Yahaya Ahmed, CEO of Development Association for Renewable Energies (DARE), set out to build energy-autonomous houses from recycled materials. DARE have brought Andres Froesse, founder of Eco-Tec Soluciones Ambientales, to Nigeria to train local masons in the bottle building technique. Land for Nigeria’s first bottle building was donated to the project by engineer Chris Vassilou.

The bottle house will be solar powered, with a fuel-efficient clean cookstove, urine filtration fertilisation systems and water purification tanks, thereby making it energy autonomous.

bottle school

The next Nigerian bottle building project is a school hall in Seluja at the Africa School of Excellence, which urgently needs classroom space.

The school children are being trained in the bottle brick making technique and the newly trained masons will lead the build in January 2012.

Photos:

1. The foundation is in place and the bottle walls begin.
2. Bottle walls and pillars go up.
3. Children making bottle-bricks.
4. Walls of the bottle house are plastered

Photos by Andreas Froese, ECOTEC


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