Plastic bottles and green building?

Plastic water bottle building under construction - from  video "solution plain and simple" by       Andreas Froese (below)

Plastic water bottle building under construction - from  video "solution plain and simple" by Andreas Froese (below)

This piece is taken from our newsletter "Force of Nature" see more and subscribe here.

There are oceans of problems with bottled water. Over 100 billion water bottles are discarded each year. They take up a huge amount of landfill space, use oil to be made, and breakdown very slowly. In many cases bottled water is simply municipal water. Where drinking water is safe more and more communities are looking to ban it. 

While bottles have been used in construction like earthships, Andrea Frose in 2000 started to build using plastic bottles and soil (which is then covered with a mortar) as full wall systems (see below for a video of some samples of his work). In Nigeria they are being built - providing shelters that can be built in many areas, are earthquake resistant and comfortable in the heat and are fireproof. Like earth bag houses they are also bullet proof. Bottles come from recycling campaigns and salvage. The energy to make them has been spent and so many are simply discarded that it is unlikely that these buildings will create a demand. 

According to the BBC, Yahaya Ahmed of Nigeria's Development Association for Renewable Energies, said a bottle house costs one third of a similar house of concrete and bricks. Plus, he says "Compacted sand inside a bottle is nearly 20 times stronger than bricks. We are even intending to build a three-storey building."

See photos of bottle buildings here, and a video here: