Developing communities use construction systems that are super interesting and take advantage of all available resources.
This is something really commendable, I remember when I was a kid and I visited my aunt and uncle’s house in a rural community in my country, I noticed that some of the houses were made completely of mud and some kind of dry leaves.
They looked sturdy and extremely cool, best of all super economical and easy to make.
The houses made with plastic, is not a novelty or anything like that, due to the concern of some people aware of the damage we are generating to the environment with the excessive accumulation of an infinity of PET bottles.
Construction techniques have been developed with this type of waste, these construction techniques have been developed in different ways, one of the most interesting is to use the complete PET bottles, fill them and use them as if they were blocks.
In this article, let’s take a look at this interesting construction method and its step-by-step procedure.
Material selection and preparation
The raw material for this type of construction must be collected which are the plastic bottles, approximately 1000 bottles of 500 ml. will be needed to cover the entire construction and finding them can be relatively easy since they are everywhere!
You can find bottles in any daily walk through the streets, or more simply, looking in specialized sites for collection and recycling of materials.
It is very important to keep in mind that the containers that you choose must be in good The containers chosen must be in good condition, without any blows or cuts.
The process of building with plastic bottles
This construction system is a mixture of the traditional construction system with this new technique of recycling plastic since the structure of the house as beams and columns should be those traditionally used.
Although some people also make the beams with plastic bottles filled with sand or clay, it all depends on the structure of the roof you have, if you have a heavy roof it is obviously advisable to use traditional columns.
The construction site should be prepared with a small amount of very poor cement mixture: approximately 8 parts of sand to 1 part of cement in the form of firm.
With the help of a few screws, attach the plastic rope that would keep the bottles attached to the wall. And the first row begins (horizontal row of bottles laid flat and tied to each other with plastic string).
The construction is so simple that it can be done with two people. residues should be used, like cement as mortar to make a few courses with a poor mixture as described above.
- The process consists of filling the bottles with sand and tying them horizontally to each other. Some people use a locked method, but personally, I find that placing the bottles in one direction is more practical.
- Soil with a high clay component must be obtained to make a mixture of soil and sawdust to complete the binder mixture for the construction.
- The bottles are placed horizontally and tied together with plastic rope. Between rows, the mixture is placed to settle and level them.
- In larger constructions, pillars are used every 3 meters to stabilize the construction.
- These can be made of the same plastic containers placed radially. These elements serve as columns that support the concrete beams that crown the walls.
Coatings and Details
When the walls are finished, all the bottle caps are tied with plastic cord to form a mesh that is used to support the lining of the walls.
The gaps that may form between bottles are filled with common construction waste (pieces of bricks, concrete, gravel, etc.).
The inside of the bathroom can be lined with a poor mixture of cement and sand, while the outside lining can be made of terracotta-colored earth mixed with sand, giving it a rustic and striking finish by the color of the earth and the texture obtained.
the color of the earth and the texture obtained.
Some bottle bottoms can be left uncovered on purpose to show the construction technique since at first glance it is not possible to know at first glance that the work uses this construction system because the wall looks like the result of traditional construction.
What about electrical and sanitary installations?
Well, as I mentioned previously, this type of house is a mix with the traditional construction, the installations are made the same as the traditional construction.
If you don’t want to complicate too much the electrical installation, an idea could be to make the electrical installations on the surface, I have used them this way in some constructions of country villas.
Some communities also make the bathrooms with the same recycled material, as for the piping and connections, everything works the same as the traditional way, as long as there are adequate conditions and supplies.
The advantages of building with plastic bottles
Duration: PET has an estimated degradation time in the environment of 200 to 300 years.
environment estimated between 200 and 300 years.
Thermal insulation: The filler soil provides excellent thermal insulation. The result is a very very cool construction, ideal for hot climates.
Economical: The construction system with PET containers, allows savings of up to 50% in materials compared to traditional construction, which provides a viable solution for populations living in poverty.
Speed: due to the simplicity of the construction system, a house of average size can be built in only 20 days.
Self-construction: The construction training process provides an alternative construction, provides an alternative to face the high cost of materials and labor in construction.
Labor costs in construction: It provides the communities with a tool to overcome their problems of habitability and supply of basic services such as water, sanitation, electricity, and water supply. such as water.
Recovery of local heritage: In addition, it can be complemented with traditional construction techniques in the elaboration of mortars and the combination of local materials. the combination of local materials.
Insecurities of this construction style
Some people are still insecure about the technique and the most recurrent concerns are about the fire resistance of the plastic and the stability of the construction.
In existing buildings, to date, the exterior cladding protects the walls and there have been no reports of any incidents that would call into question the performance of a PET container building.