Plastic bottles are somewhat of a scourge, with 2.4 million tons of PET plastic discarded every year – how can we prevent many of these bottles from littering the earth? Maybe more of us should be building plastic bottle houses, which are cheap to construct and surprisingly durable. These 14 plastic bottle building projects give empty vessels new purpose as homes, schools, greenhouses, playhouses and room dividers.
EcoARK Exhibition Hall, Taiwan
(images via: jetsongreen)
Proving that there are all kinds of uses for recycled PET plastic, Taiwan-based engineer Arthur Huang processed 1.8 million used plastic bottles into honeycomb-shaped 'bricks' for a boat-shaped exhibition hall called the EcoARK. Built for Taipei's flower show, EcoARK was constructed for just one-third the cost of a conventional structure. Once locked together, the bricks are extremely strong. Huang also plans to use this concept for a warehouse and a military barracks.
La Casa de Botellas, Argentina
(images via: inhabitots)
The Alfredo Santa Cruz family of Puerto Iguazu, Argentina crafted their home almost entirely from thousands of PET plastic bottles. Walls, coffee tables, bed platforms – even the steps to get to the front door are made of plastic bottles. The structure features a Tetra-pack roof and windows made with CD jewel cases. In addition to the main house, the family even built smaller playhouses for their daughter.
Eco-Tec's Ecoparque El Zamorano, Honduras
(images via: eco-tecnologia.com)
The Zamorano Ecoparque in Honduras offers up not just eco-resort fun like horseback riding and ziplines, but also a variety of structures made of stacked and mortared plastic bottles. Eco-Tec, a company that has built plastic bottle homes all over the Americas, used 8,000 bottles to complete the park's 'Ecological House'; other plastic bottle structures on the same property include a greenhouse and a replica of a Roman aqueduct.
Plastic Bottle School, San Pablo, Philippines
(images via: inhabitat.com)
You might imagine that a structure made of plastic bottles couldn't be very strong; that might be true in some cases, but not at this schoolhouse in San Pablo, Philippines. Illac Diaz and the MyShelter Foundation filled 1.5 and 2-liter soda and water bottles with adobe, and the results are actually three times stronger than concrete.
Morimoto Restaurant Bottle Wall, New York City
(images via: coolboom)
In this case, using plastic bottles was more of a design statement than an attempt to be green – and its beauty proves that one person's trash is another's trendy focal point in an expensive restaurant. The 'bottle wall' at the Morimoto Restaurant in New York City, designed by architect Tadao Ando, is made of 17,400 half-liter plastic bottles, which are filled with mineral water and LED lighting for a shimmery effect.
Hug it Forward Bottle Schools
(images via: bottleschools.com)
An organization called Hug it Forward has built six schools in Guatemala out of discarded plastic bottles for just about $10,000 each, working to clean the streets of trash, teach environmental awareness and give children a place to learn all at once. The plastic bottles are stuffed with inorganic trash to make them stronger.
Eco-Tec's Casa de la Fe, Honduras
(images via: eco-tecnologia.com)
Casa de la Fe (Faith House) is home to the Honduras Foundation for the Rehabilitation and Integration of the Handicapped, and is another example of the plastic bottle architecture of Eco-Tec. This particular construction uses plastic bottles as the basis of each wall and then plasters over them for a mostly smooth look, textured in some areas by the star-shaped bottles of each bottle.
Danone Bottle Wall, Tokyo
(images via: momoy)
Klein Dytham architects included a plastic bottle wall in its interior design for the Danone offices in Tokyo, a fitting feature for a business that revolves around bottled water. The empty Evian bottles are stacked vertically and strung on wires stretching from the floor to the ceiling for a translucent room divider.
3 Plastic Bottle Greenhouses
(images via: macarthuradvertiser, inhabitat, cleantechnica)
From an 18-foot-tall building at a public school in Australia to an artistic dome in Seattle to smaller structures all over the world, greenhouses made of plastic bottles come in all shapes and sizes. They're typically built using a wooden frame, either hanging the bottles from string or stacking them. The bottles let in just the right amount of light and also insulate the interior.
Tomislav Radovanovic Plastic Bottle House, Serbia
(images via: free republic)
Serbian math professor Tomislav Radovanovic spent five years turning 13,500 plastic bottles into the retirement home of his dreams. The teacher's former students helped him collect the bottles for the 650-square-foot house, which was built on a concrete foundation.
Temple of Trash, Rotterdam
(image via: treehugger)
100 tons of pressed plastic bottles were made into a 'Temple of Trash' in Heijplaat, a neighborhood in Rotterdam's port area, in 2007. Made by Salzig Design, this tower was built as a temporary part of the Follydock Festival.
POLLI Bricks: Build Your Own Bottle House
(images via: inhabitat)
Inspired by all this creative bottle architecture? You could go the low-tech and low-cost route of filling reclaimed plastic bottles with sand, or you could use the POLLI-Brick by miniWIZ. These specially shaped bricks, made of recycled PET bottles, lock together to create lightweight yet strong walls with excellent acoustic and insulating properties.