Plastic Bottle Bricks are recycled plastic bottles filled with sand, plastics, or some other non-organic material and compacted to create a dense and strong brick used for construction. An example of a website that shares information about this method of building is called Ecobricks.org.
Plastic Bottle Bricks can be used in any country with an excess amount of used plastic bottles.
Varies. No company distributes bottle bricks, since they are intended to be manufactured using local recycled materials. There are a few organizations (Growth International Volunteer Excursions, Ecobricks.org, Bottlebrick.com, Inspiration Green, and others) that have their own bottle brick projects in countries around the world.
Bottles and bottle fill are made from recycled materials and therefore there is no cost for the bricks themselves. The adhesive to hold the bricks together, the sand (if filling bottles with sand), labor, and required materials will all incur costs on a project.
ECO-TEC estimates $6-$11 USD per square foot for construction, excluding labor costs.
Any standard earthen block or average brick has the same function as a bottle brick.
Goal 1 and 11: Aims to provide affordable and durable shelter that at the same time reduces existing waste.
Any person, community, or organization that wants to construct a structure out of recycled materials.
Bottle bricks are not set for mass production yet, and are individually manufactured by stuffing sand or recycled plastics into each bottle and compressing the plastics inside the bottle with any solid pole or stick.
A bottle brick can be created anywhere there are excess plastic bottles and recycled plastics.
Unknown. A typical structure will most likely feature over a thousand bottle bricks.
Bottle bricks can vary in size, even throughout a structure. The materials that can be stuffed inside the bottle should be inorganic waste, such as plastic bags, plastic wrappers, plastic mesh, twist ties, etc. The bottles can also be filled with sand.
Manufacturing a bottle brick is a simple process that can be taught to anyone anywhere. Constructing with bottle bricks requires general brick construction knowledge, which can be offered by any general construction company or contractor.
If one brick is not compacted densely enough, another brick can be easily made using local materials.
The lifetime of a bottle brick depends on the quality of the construction methods used to construct the bottle brick structure.
Performance of Bottle Brick performance with and without sand available from an Engineers Without Borders Report titled “Final Report – Plastic Bottle Bricks”
Engineers Without Borders implemented a Bottle Brick project in Vietnam.
If the bottle bricks used in a structure are not dense enough, the structure will lose strength, and the building will have a higher risk of failure. Also, the construction method that incorporates the bottle bricks must ensure proper structural strength for the structure to remain standing.
A bottle brick requires an adhesive substance (sand, cement, adobe, etc.) to hold the bricks together. Wooden beams, other bricks, and any other construction materials/methods can incorporate bottle bricks, even if the bottle bricks are not the main structural component.
An average of the maximum compressive strength a typical structure could withstand with this building material. Units: σ (N/mm2)
An average of the maximum loads/forces perpendicular to the compressive forces that a typical structure could withstand with this building material. Units: σ (N/mm2)
A seismic design category expresses an area’s likelihood of experiencing damaging effects of an earthquake (A(low), B, C, D0, D1, D2, E(high)). This parameter denotes the highest acceptable SDC for the material.
Climatic zones appropriate for construction based on a material’s availability/feasibility in each climatic zone.
Shoubi, M.V., Shoubi, M.V., Barough, A.S., Investigating the Application of Plastic Bottle as a Sustainable Material in the Building Construction [IJSETR]. Islamic Azad University; 2013 Jan;2(1) [cited 2016 Jul 15].
Kozlesky, J. A., Investigation of the Seismic Capacity of a School Built with Recycled Materials 2012 May. University of Toledo.
N/A. There are no existing standards for using bottle bricks in construction.
Growth International Volunteer Excursions has constructed a few structures using bottle bricks as the main structural component. They provide brief details of their construction plan at the bottom of the page.
Extensive Instruction Manual on some basic rules and practices of constructing with bottle bricks.
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