Bottle Brick House (One Stone, Many Birds)

Finally, there is an innovative solution for all of the waste from plastic bottles that is overwhelming our landfills and littering our streams. In a very non-traditional approach to building, the people of Yelwa, Nigeria have completed their first “bottle brick” masterpiece.,r:6,s:0&tx=128&ty=52Composed of close to 8,000 plastic drinking bottles, these innovative structures could provide shelter for the many, many people in need while reducing excessive waste. Since most water is unfit for human consumption in Nigeria, plastic water bottles are plentiful and inexpensive.

The process of building a “bottle brick” house begins by laying a concrete foundation, ensuring a strong structure. The building is then constructed by filling plastic bottles with sand, creating the building blocks which are stacked and shaped into the round walls typically found in this region. This initial brick-making process has begun to employ children who fill, then sell the bottles, creating a much needed income for their families. The compressed sand inside the bottle creates a material that has been claimed to be up to 20 times stronger than traditional brick and plans are already in the works for a 3-story building and a school structure. In this unstable part of the world, another benefit is that these buildings are literally bullet-proof. No big bad wolf gonna blow this puppy down.

A 25-house compound is planned for the,r:9,s:0small village of Yelwa which will house many, allow children to make a buck filling bottles, and create an identity in this rough region of the world.

About Jessica Robin Thomas

I am a Denver based interior designer and sustainability consultant, passionate about good, honest design, the environment and the regenerative future of building and integrated design practices. Time spent in Europe inspired my budding love of history and architecture and a move to Colorado led me to Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design and the field of sustainable interior design. It was there that my passions for creativity and environmental work were perfectly melded. When I’m not obsessing over sustainability and design, I can be found spending time with my wonderful husband and amazing son. My hobbies include playing and writing music, camping and hiking, gardening, creating “hardware” jewelry, reading, and most of all, soaking up as much as possible, the endless amounts of knowledge that this incredible world holds!
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