Built of recycled materials, but is it "green"?
Technically a temporary structure, "the world's lightest, movable, breathable environmental miracle" (say the designers) is also strong enough to withstand typhoons and earthquakes. The building will eventually become an exhibition space.
Much is being made of the structure's "green" credentials - LED lighting, and particularly the construction material; 1,500,000 recycled PET bottles.
That sounds great, and in most of the news coverage of the structure (such as the BBC and Treehugger) it sounds like the building is built directly of bottles that have been re-shaped somehow (maybe squashed in a heated mould). The bottles even have lids, and they talk about filling them with air, water or sand to change the thermal properties of the building..
It turns out, though, that the building material is not "PET bottles", but "PET bottles chopped up, melted and re-formed into much thicker-walled bottles intended solely for building", branded as Polli-Bricks.
OK, still recycled, still greener than most building materials, but it smacks of spin to just say the building is built of bottles.
The Polli-Bricks are impressive - individually nice to look at, and fitting together snugly "like Lego" - but there is no indication of how much energy is spent creating them. They are made by Hymini, but the Hymini website flashes up all sorts of alarms with my firewall and anti-virus as an "attack site". There is more information at Miniwiz as well, but some of the links there also trigger alarms.
Maybe I'm being a wet blanket.
It is a nice building, after all.
What do you think?