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81 bottles of pop on the wall, 81 bottles of pop

27 June 2010

Bolivian attorney Ingrid Vaca Diez collects empty pop bottles.  A lot of empty pop bottles.  Originally they were for craft projects, but her husband convinced her (er… prodded, or threatened to throw them out) that the collection was out of control the same day she attended a birthday party for a neighbor’s child whose one wish was for a slightly bigger house than the one the family was living in at the time.

A two liter bottle, filled with a mixture of sand and cement  weighs 3.6 Kg, and makes a hefty substitute brick.  Nine two-liter bottles, laid side to side equal one meter in length.  Nine times nine bottles — with home-made morter (including animal manure and cow’s blood)  — create a ten square meter wall.

Photo: La Capital via Facebook

10,000 pop bottles may not be enough to build a McMansion, but it does build a decent, good-looking, house. I don’t understand the physics of it, but apparently cylindrical bricks (which is what the bottles become) create better stability than standard building techniques, making the bottle houses particularly desirable in earthquake prone regions … which is about 90 percent of Latin America.

Vaca Diaz has been teaching her building methods, and working on housing projects in Bolivia, Argentina, and Mexico and the Haitians are, of course, more than intrigued with the concept.

La Capital and Via Rosario (both from Argentina) have more information on a recent bottle-house construction project in Roldán. Vaca Diaz talks about the project in a slide-presentation at Urban Inform.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 27 June 2010 5:49 am

    Unbelievable! I am going to sent this to the University of Yucatan’s School of Architecture!
    Thank you…

  2. steve permalink
    27 June 2010 12:38 pm

    I know of no mortar which sticks to
    the plastic of a pop bottle very well.

    Also, what about earthquakes?

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