When you’re planning to construct a tiny house, what building materials spring to mind? Cedar? Stone? One which probably doesn’t occur to too many people to consider using is plastic bottles. That’s right—the same drink bottles you throw away every day when you’re on the go.
Here is the approach to La Casa de Botellas, also known as “The Ecological Bottle House.” The house is located in the area of the famous Iguazu Falls in South America. How cool is this? The whole house seems to glow from the sunshine which is able to travel straight through from one side to the other.
Tourists visit the house both from Argentina and from countries around the world. Many come to see the falls, and make the famous “Bottle House” one of their stops.
Inside, the house is just drenched in sunlight! Interestingly enough, there are a number of practical considerations which have gone into using plastic bottles as a building material. Not only do plastic bottles usually go to waste, making this an eco-friendly recycling idea, but they also are less likely than traditional building materials to catch fire.
This is significant, because in temporary housing settlements, buildings are often erected with no defensible space for fire. While plastic bottles do melt in the presence of fire, they can contain it, reducing the chance that it will spread and catch a neighboring building. This effect can be enhanced with a little dirt, water, or sand in each bottle.
Even the furniture inside the domicile has been constructed out of plastic bottles! The effect is actually surprisingly beautiful. The materials used are recycled Tetra Packs and PET Plastic Bottle containers.
Quite impressively, the house (which is still being developed and perfected) will ultimately include both hot water and power, the latter of which will be supplied via a solar panel collector. Here are some cool stats about the house:
The bed is made from 200 PET plastic bottles.
The couches consist of 120 PET plastic bottles.
The windows and doors are made of 140 compact disk boxes (the colorful, thin plastic kind which let the light through).
The roof contains 1,300 milk and wine Tetra Pack containers.
The walls of the building consist of 1,200 PET plastic bottles.
When you think about it, that is actually a surprising small number.
There is now even a plastic bottle playhouse outside:
Watch a video tour of the house here:
Want to learn more about this amazing project? You can read more about the La Casa de Botellas on Inhabitat as well as on the this site, which I believe is the official one for the project.