Architecture

New eco-village hits the (plastic) bottle

New eco-village hits the (plas...
A new home at the Plastic Bottle Village starts at US$149,000 – $300,000, depending on the model
A new home at the Plastic Bottle Village starts at US$149,000 – $300,000, depending on the model
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"We will be living inside what we have consumed and thrown away, and will re-construct those materials into modern, stylish, and quality built residencies," says Plastic Bottle Village
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"We will be living inside what we have consumed and thrown away, and will re-construct those materials into modern, stylish, and quality built residencies," says Plastic Bottle Village
Each home is constructed by first building steel rebar panels and metal mesh to create a cage to hold the PET bottles
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Each home is constructed by first building steel rebar panels and metal mesh to create a cage to hold the PET bottles
A new home at the Plastic Bottle Village starts at US$149,000 – $300,000, depending on the model
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A new home at the Plastic Bottle Village starts at US$149,000 – $300,000, depending on the model
According to Plastic Bottle Village, the homes are also earthquake-resistant
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According to Plastic Bottle Village, the homes are also earthquake-resistant
Over 10,000 bottles were used in the first home alone, and according to the firm, up to 25,000 bottles will be used for each subsequent home
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Over 10,000 bottles were used in the first home alone, and according to the firm, up to 25,000 bottles will be used for each subsequent home
The plastic bottle and steel mesh structure is then covered with concrete, with roofs, plumbing, septic tanks, and electricity, etc, added later
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The plastic bottle and steel mesh structure is then covered with concrete, with roofs, plumbing, septic tanks, and electricity, etc, added later
The homes are currently for sale and come in three models (though the firm is willing to do custom builds)
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The homes are currently for sale and come in three models (though the firm is willing to do custom builds)
So far, one single story home has been completed, while another two-story castle-style house is ready to be cemented
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So far, one single story home has been completed, while another two-story castle-style house is ready to be cemented
The homes in the Plastic Bottle Village are currently under construction in three phases over 83 acres (33.5 ha) of Panamanian jungle
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The homes in the Plastic Bottle Village are currently under construction in three phases over 83 acres (33.5 ha) of Panamanian jungle
Each home is constructed by first building steel rebar panels and metal mesh to create a cage to hold the PET bottles
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Each home is constructed by first building steel rebar panels and metal mesh to create a cage to hold the PET bottles
Building a plastic bottle-filled home
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Building a plastic bottle-filled home
The homes in the Plastic Bottle Village are currently under construction in three phases over 83 acres (33.5 hectares) of Panamanian jungle
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The homes in the Plastic Bottle Village are currently under construction in three phases over 83 acres (33.5 hectares) of Panamanian jungle
A new home at the Plastic Bottle Village starts at US$149,000 – $300,000, depending on the model
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A new home at the Plastic Bottle Village starts at US$149,000 – $300,000, depending on the model
Phase one began in late 2015 and so far one single story home has been completed, while another two-story castle-style house is ready to be cemented
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Phase one began in late 2015 and so far one single story home has been completed, while another two-story castle-style house is ready to be cemented
"We will be living inside what we have consumed and thrown away, and will re-construct those materials into modern, stylish, and quality built residencies," says Plastic Bottle Village
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"We will be living inside what we have consumed and thrown away, and will re-construct those materials into modern, stylish, and quality built residencies," says Plastic Bottle Village
View gallery - 15 images

Recycled plastic bottles have previously been used to make a sustainable home, but an ambitious new project in Panama hopes to use the ubiquitous modern waste product to construct an entire village. It's early days yet, but the idea is that the aptly-named Plastic Bottle Village will eventually comprise between 90 to 120 homes, each insulated by thousands of plastic bottles.

The brainchild of Canadian entrepreneur Robert Bezeau, Plastic Bottle Village is currently under construction within 83 acres (33.5 ha) of Panamanian jungle. Phase one began in late 2015 and just one single story home has been completed so far, though another two-story castle-style house also nears completion.

Bezeau previously led a now-defunct plastic bottle recycling scheme in Boca Del Toro, Panama. The same bottles collected under that scheme are being used for the Plastic Bottle Village project, and more are being dropped-off by locals every week.

Over 10,000 PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles, the kind used to hold soft drinks, were used in the first home. According to the Plastic Bottle Village team, somewhere between 10,000 and 25,000 bottles will be used for each subsequent home.

The homes are currently for sale and come in three models (though the firm is willing to do custom builds)
The homes are currently for sale and come in three models (though the firm is willing to do custom builds)

Put simply, the homes are constructed by first fabricating a steel cage and then filling it with plastic bottles. They are then set into place and electrical cables and other services are inserted. Layers of concrete cover the mesh before the home is finished with windows, roof, septic tank, etc.

Plastic Bottle Village states that the use of plastic bottles is both time and cost effective, compared to typical local materials and techniques. The firm also reports that the bottle-based homes have such good insulation that air-conditioning isn't necessary and that they are earthquake-resistant too.

The homes are currently available for pre-purchase and come in three different styles, with prices starting from US$149,000 to $300,000. In addition to the main development, Plastic Bottle Village is also raising funds via a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign towards building an education center, dormitories and cafeteria at the site.

Source: Plastic Bottle Village

View gallery - 15 images
6 comments
Terence Hawkes
This makes perfect sense, and it is cheap too. I wonder if we could use this construction in Canada if the insulation is as good as I think it might be.
Bob Flint
Why would you need insulation in this tropical climate, & starting at $150k what a scam....
Lbrewer42
You would think by getting the main mass of the walls for free, the cost would be lower than a normal house. They are using re-bar (and what looks like fencing) as the "steel" - but I did not know re-bar was this expensive. Great idea for the insulation nonetheless - except in case of a fire where you would have hot gooey, molten plastic coming out of the walls.
Stephen N Russell
Collect plastic waste worldwide alone, & from Ocean. renovate whole villages for India, Vietnam, Thailand, Mynamar, Pakistan, So Korea, Taiwan, Laos, So China. Fiji
Douglas Bennett Rogers
Saves some of the studs, insulation, and remelting the plastic.
Nik
If you have a steel structure that can be rendered or plastered, the question arises as to whether the plastic bottles perform any function at all. Could this be just a way of disposing of lots of plastic bottles from a failed project?