In countries filled with structures made out of brick and wood it is hard to believe that they can be made with anything else. Buildings are supposed to be sturdy and able to withstand anything from a clear day to severe thunderstorms.
There Is a Reason Why Kings Built Their Castles out of Stone, a Reason Why the Two Pigs Who Built Their Houses out of Straw and Sticks Had Their Houses Destroyed. It Is Not a Hard Concept to Grasp
But what if I told you that water bottles are a sound replacement for bricks? Does it sound like some futuristic idea where we have run out of trees to cut down, so instead we turn to our landfills for new ideas? Well, think again.
Patrick San Francesco, the man who is the founder of Samarpan, a nonprofit foundation established in New Delhi, is the mastermind behind this plastic bottle phenomenon. Apparently, one day while Patrick was having a seemingly normal afternoon, a filled bottle fell on Patrick’s foot. Realising how much it hurt him, he recognised how much power was in something he thought of as trash. He then had a marvelous idea. With so many underprivileged countries not being able to afford luxuries, plastic could be an easy solution to their problems. Not only that, these creations can be more than twice as environmentally friendly than other building materials that are being used in today’s world. It was a win win situation.
Though it sounds great, some technical know-how is required to create these buildings. First, the plastic bottles that are donated are washed and dried to make sure they are not uncleanly. Those bottles are then packed to the brim with sand. This makes the plastic bottles nearly 20 times stronger than bricks. The bottles can be both tied with nylon rope and surrounded by concrete to create an even sturdier building.
More bottles are put in to create the floor and overlaid with tiles, producing a beautiful finish at a third of what a similar house made of concrete and bricks would cost.
These are not built like bomb structures. Doors and windows can be installed, and a variety of roofs can be put on depending on location and climate.
Hundreds of people have been coming to see how the walls are built in the round architectural shape structure in northern Nigeria.
Think Twice Before You Throw out Your Empty Bottle
This method of using plastic bottles has been tested to see how well they can withstand earthquakes. Tested eighteen times in one day, the plastic structure survived up to a 9.8 earthquake on the Richter scale. Maybe the UK needs to start investing in these buildings made of plastic bottles.
The Buildings Are Safe, Secure and Bullet Proof
The buildings are safe, secure, and provide a cheap alternative for people or communities who may not be otherwise able to pay for things we take for granted, such as schools and homes. The Samarpan foundation has even been able to build a thirty-bed hospital and a twenty five foot water tower tanker in Sunderbans and because of the compact sand, the buildings are bullet-proof.
This project has the potential to not only improve the housing shortage in underprivileged countries, but clean up the streets as well.