Introduction: How to Construct Houses With Plastic Bottles !!

Picture of How to Construct Houses With Plastic Bottles !!
Waste bottles for construction? Yes, it is difficult to think of a bottle as a brick. But a mud-filled bottle is as strong as a brick and whatever you can do with a brick, you can do with a bottle too..Plus it has got lots of advantages too...

This project was done as part of our college activity.The man behind this innovative idea is a german named Andreas Froese,who is also the founder of 'ECO-TEC' .



  • Found in 2001 by Andreas Froese Germen citizen and its head quarters is at Honduras Central America.
  • ECO-TEC has done more than 50 eco friendly projects at Honduras, Columbia, Bolivia.
  • ECO-TEC has experience working with Govt, Non-Govt and International organization.
  • ECO-TEC has won lot of environmental awards for innovation.
  • Developed technology to build with pet bottles which helps to reuse plastic bottles and avoid plastic menace.
  • Developed technology to build water tanks with pet bottles.
Being a student of Architecture, I feel privileged to be part of this innovative construction project.

Building with Bottles :

This is an effective solution for reusing the plastic. Bottles have the following advantages over bricks and other construction materials.

1. Low cost - You know how much a bottle costs!
2. Non-Brittle - (Unlike bricks)
3. Absorbs abrupt shock loads - Since they are not brittle,there can take up heavy loads without failure.
4. Bio climatic
5. Re-usable
6. Less construction material
7. Easy to build
8. Green Construction

Step 1: Bottles,bottles Everywhere!

Picture of Bottles,bottles Everywhere!

The video shows the strength of a mud filled plastic bottle.

When you make a clay brick, the time and energy used right from mixing the clay to baking it in the kiln and taking into account the firewood used for that, you will see that the bottle brick is far more energy-efficient.
The technology also reduces the carbon emission that happens during the baking of an ordinary brick . The heat generation from cement factories can also be reduced as this technology uses only five percent cement. The foundation for the entire construction is obtained from building waste and so the mountains from which granite is blasted out can be saved too..
PET Bottle can last as long as 300 years (undoubtedly longer than the cement used to bind the bottles together in the walls!).

The following picture is of an ecological house constructed in Honduras using some 8,000 PET bottles, in the process freeing up an estimated 12 cubic meters (m3) in the local landfill.

The house also features a living roof (sometimes called a green roof) of sod and turf. Such roofs not only have aesthetic appeal, but tend to insulate the house better than conventional roofs, lowering heating and cooling costs. They are also cheaper than conventional roofs.

When wet, the 102 square meter (m2), living roof of the casa ecol?can weigh as much as 30 metric tons (Mt, toneladas). The PET bottle walls can support the weight.

Step 2: Step I

Picture of Step I

This instructable tells you how to build a pavilion with these bottles.
1.Your first step is to collect as many discarded plastic bottles as you can..They can be of various capacities.
2.Next step is to find a place where you can get a hell load of dry sand (finer,the better).
3.Next process is to take the bottles, fill them with sand, sealed and then paste them with a mixture made of earth, clay, sawdust and a little cement to provide additional strength and durability.The following video shows how to fill the bottle.
4.Now you are all set.Always start with the pillar.You can have as many pillars as you want,but not less than 3.
5.Dig a cylindrical pit about 60cm in depth.The radius should be atleast 10cm more than the length of the bottle that you are going to use for constructing the pillar.
6.Make a cement bed(about 4cm thickness)in the pit.Insert an long iron/steel rod at the centre.Tie a long and strong thread to the rod. Now we are going to lay 10 or 11 bottles around this rod.For this,First lay a bottle on the bed such that the bottle is radially oriented towards the centre.(i.e.,the cap is oriented towards the rod).
7.Take the thread and make a knot around the neck of the bottle you just laid.Put the next bottle in similar way keeping in mind that the caps of the 2 bottles touch each other.Make a knot around the 2nd bottle also.Repeat the steps until you lay all the 11 bottles.You have made your first course of bottles.
8.Fill in the gaps between the bottles with rubble and cement.Make the next bed and continue this process till you fill the entire pit.Hurray!your foundation is complete.Leave it for a few hours so that the cement will solidify.
9.After you have made the foundation for all your pillars,you can start building the pillar.Lay the bottles like you did for the foundation,and you will see your pillars rising.You can put broken bricks or other construction wastes between the bottles so that they don't move.
10.Now if you want you can plaster your pillar with cement.This pillar is many times stronger much cheaper than an ordinary pillar made with bricks.

Step 3: STEP II

Picture of STEP II

After building all the pillars,You are ready to make the platform.
1.Make an outline of your platform with chalk powder or any color powders.
2.Make a Clay bed about 5cm height and width=5 cm > length of the bottles.This bed runs along the perimetre of the platform.
3.Now lay the bottles (with their neck facing outwards )one by one on this bed and tie them to each other as shown in the picture.After laying a course , fill the inside area with cement,clay or rubble.If you want to make more courses,make sure that you knot each bottle of the underlying course with the above course as shown in the picture.This is to impart more strength to the structure.
4.This is your platform.Now put tiles or ceramics for flooring.
5.You can put any type of roof over this because the pillars are really strong enough to hold them.
6.Create your own designs ,and build your own structures with this cheap construction method !

Some structures (including residences,water tanks,seating etc)built with pet bottles are shown here



LysaK (author)2015-02-13

This building method is good for any type of climate, the sand in the bottles absorbs heat. Under the 'how does it work' section it says:

' In that the construction method itself provides thermal storage (thick, heavy walls), no thermal mass needs to be imported into the structure to store the heat gained by the solar array of South-facing windows, as is necessary in stick-framed passive solar homes. This inherent thermal mass storage and the almost continuous addition of vast amounts of heat via the solar windows, keeps the inside temperature relatively consistent within "normal" living temperatures, once the thermal mass of the house "charges" with heat. The plumbing in this house would never freeze, in spite of outside temperatures being well below 0˚F, because the biggest part of it is well below the "frostline". '

' The thermal mass of the home literally pulls heat out of the air. Then when the air temperature of the room goes below the temperature of the walls, the heat comes out of the walls to keep the room relatively warm and stable. '

Yes, the site is about using tires as the building material, but they are still packed with dirt and sand. Why is it that animals burrow into the earth whether in desert/arid or snowy/freezing climates? Because the soil insulates and keeps the extreme weather out while inside is warm/decent.

With building materials like these, whether you live where it gets below 0 or above 100, the temperature inside the structure is around 63* and 78*.

MaDdyA6 (author)LysaK2017-12-10

Thanks for ur suggestion its very useful for my thesis project

MarisolH (author)LysaK2015-11-27

LysaK Thank you for the additional info you provide here. It's quite important indeed. Cheers!

equine.rescue.ncyprus (author)2017-08-07

i AM that person who has nothing but land and myself to build by hand. I have started a youtube channel (lemonade budget)showing step by step stages of building my bottle house, and tyre wall to house my rescue dogs, horses and of course humans. We were left without a penny when we were robbed by builders. All i have is waste material, and have paid nothing so far, other than a bag of cement for a few quid. Yes its hard work in blazing tropical heat at times, but to see my first pillar rise is exciting and an achievement for a 50 year old woman with no machinery and her bare hands.

smitp13 (author)2017-07-01

what can be added into it apart from basic materials ??

and what kind of further works can be done on this??

suraj9422 (author)2016-07-06

Sir i want bonding material name is it possible to stick.cement.on mud.

ptbonghanoy (author)2016-07-02

hi, Is it possible to build a two storey house with this kind of materials? Please i am planning to build one and quite curious to know how make it.

Zay'yadI (author)2016-05-31

Hi. am Zayyad Ibrahim. can anyone help with a step by step procedure of how to construct such a building?

SatwikA1 (author)2016-03-14

Can I know are there any disadvantages ??

yhan27 (author)2015-11-07

Im amazed by the idea of constructing a house using plastic bottles , where can i get the step by step procedure in doing it ? anyone plese?

ruthy nov (author)2009-11-21

Thank you for a wonderful idea!
In my country we have large collection baskets on the streets for recycling plastic containers. It is obligatory to do so.
Please tell the exact proportions of sand-clay-cement.
I think the caps should be glued!
a word to LARZE - re-using plastic bottles is so dangerous! No sterilization possible and they become a sourse of deseases. This is done in poor countries like India, bery bad indeed.

sahilmkts (author)ruthy nov2014-02-18

how dare u to talk about india is a poor country....???? come here and see it is poor or rich... and most of the scientist of NASA are indians and most of the engineers of burj khalifa are indians.... have u got it???

zoieinbludred (author)sahilmkts2015-11-02

I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure they weren't talking about India as a whole. There are rural and poor areas, I believe that is what was intended. As a country, it is rich indeed. As is America. But that doesn't mean there aren't areas and people that are in dire need of something like this.

Pankaj Grover (author)sahilmkts2014-02-25

Really I proud bcoz I am indian

nayan yadav (author)ruthy nov2015-09-26

You bloody "chutiye" India is not a poor country.India is the world's 3rd largest economy and for kind knowledge who believe as written by Ruthy they are belongs to the country where the foolishest people of the world lives and also the country is most foolish

turner26 (author)nayan yadav2015-10-10

Is there a lot of resources to build in India or would this be good to use this idea with the bottles.

tygger281 (author)ruthy nov2012-07-13

How about making a "sludge" and filling them that way? Leave them out with the caps off for a while - they should dry over time, and that should be able to cut down the filling effort, particularly if you use some sort of filling machine.

I actually came up with a design for doing essentially the same for filling earth tires with perforated cardboard. I looked at patenting it and LO and BEHOLD, someone already did with another type of perforated tube. Go figure!!!

ve_ness (author)ruthy nov2010-02-07

The ratio for the mortar mixture depends on the climate in  your area. I work as a commercial bricklayer in Chicago and we typically use type S or N mortar. I use one bag of cement (94 lbs), one bag of type S Lime (40 lb bag), and 64 shovels of sand if it's dry. If the sand is wet then use less. explanation:

Keep in mind that the parts are used by common material measurements used in the US.

OR just save your self the headache if your not a pro and buy  "Masonry mix" which is known by the product name here as "spec mix".

wolfscrypt (author)2012-12-22

I live in rural new mexico where bottles are not recycled and can be picked up along the roads here in numbers. This is an incredible idea and we are going to give it a shot to enclose our woodfired hottub. With winters at sometimes 20+ below this would make an outstanding building. We are hoping to try it out this summer. Thank you for the great ideas and the work you do around the world.

DavidW161 (author)wolfscrypt2015-11-02

Hey i noticed you posted your comment 3 years ago, did you ever try to build this ??? and if so how did it come out and work over the varying seasons there ???

DavidW161 (author)wolfscrypt2015-11-02

Hey i noticed you posted your comment 3 years ago, did you ever try to build this ??? and if so how did it come out and work over the varying seasons there ???

AravindK10 (author)2015-10-12

beautiful idea

allamericankid (author)2015-06-07

RuheshR (author)2015-05-05

What are disadvantages of this building?

BenniGholami (author)2014-12-11

This is rather impossible to believe until you see the pictures! I really can't imagine a house entirely made up of plastic bottles. Most interesting would be if the house was put up for sale! I wonder how much it might draw…

Tashie18 (author)2014-11-24

I am thinking about turning this idea into homes for the homeless in my state, but I live in West Virginia where the climate is always changing with the seasons. What should I use in my situation?

ShobanaS (author)2014-08-14

what happen if they leak nd how to bonding that sand filled bottels

bigb0986 (author)2013-11-25

great idea!

vincent7520 (author)2013-04-25

Idea is wonderful.
However I would be worried about recycling.
True most of the bottles when put to garbage are not recycled.
But they should be… and hopefully they will.
At that time what will happen when you'll have to break a wall ? It may well be that cleaning each bottle to recycle them in dedicated facilities would be too expensive and the bottles would be thrown to the dump.
Maybe I'm totally off the subject !… I'm just asking.
If someone could post just a few words in response to this question I would appreciate. If not, no harm !… :)

Theuncannie1 (author)2013-01-20

What type of twine or string is being used to tie the bottles together? Is it an eco-friendly product?

tomasihvon (author)2012-09-21

what i want to know is how did you make the living roof? I've been interested in living roofs for quite some time now, but don't feel like undertaking a full on underground house. Please help?

tygger281 (author)2012-07-13

Hmmm...I have been collecting lovely win and glass bottles for decorating a cordwood masonry house...but now, you have me thinking about using them totally as base material as well. Also, what about using packed plastic bottles for the flooring on top of a gravel foundation?

I would also love to see the innovative application of recycled Styrofoam? I am thinking...could it be shredded and blown into the walls for insulation? Or compressed into cubes for insulation?? Or even bricks? Thoughts? Experience?

tygger281 (author)tygger2812012-07-13

win = wine (too much of it, I guess!)

lancesb (author)2010-01-16

This is crazy, yes I agree with the green factor of production; but how much time & labor is used  in packing the bottles? Wouldn't it be more profitable to recycle the bottles into solid building materials? Roofing tiles, flooring, siding, countertops; the demand for more eco friendly products is finally on the rise, I personally don't think it helps to give out good ideas which may detract from more viable options. This IS a great idea, but the average homeowner will not be able to afford this anytime soon.

Purocuyu (author)lancesb2010-01-20

It might be crazy for a first world economy, but I think in other places, it can make sense.  I lived for a few years in rural Mexico, and the people there have way more time, and energy than they have money.  
This doesn't seem to be a project intended to maximize profit.  It seems to me to be intended to allow people with modest means, but with serious drive to build a house.  Within those confines, doesn't it seem to be successful?  
I imagine some people would look at this and think,"what a drag to fill all those bottles" but maybe if those people had no home, but plenty of dirt, and maybe some bottles, they might think it is a viable option.

ElmoRoyD (author)Purocuyu2010-02-06

I agree, i live in México, I am mexican. I worked in a project of PET bottles recycling, and you are right, if your "job" is to gather plastic bottles from the trash, to sell it at $1.50 Pesos, that is less than .15 dollar cents for kilo. You do have a lot of time and energy.

Here in Mexico we dont have problems with recycling, people can throw beer cans in the streets without feeling guilty about pollution. Someone else is going to pick it up and sell it. Actually i never put cans in the trash can that is outside of my house, i just put them aside, that way is easier for them.

benedict688 (author)ElmoRoyD2012-03-26

Are you saying that people can be employed to collect recyclables in mexico? In california there are designated areas that you can take recyclables to be recycled and get money for them, but theres not jobs for people to go and find the recyclables. Hope that makes sense, just interested.

ElmoRoyD (author)benedict6882012-03-26

mh, no, you dont actually are employed to collect recyclables, people do that couse they dont have/want any other job. Nobody pays you, you need to sell those materials in to the scrap yards.

I dont know if im explaining this right.

arifiana (author)ElmoRoyD2012-05-06

I'm from Indonesia and here some people also make living by collecting recyclables. usually they do it because they don't have certain skills to apply for a job, too poor to start their own business and don't have anything to get loan from banks. this kind of 'job' called 'pemulung', they collect valuable material like plastic cups, bottles, papers, glass, or whatever they could sell to 'pengepul', somebody who will buy what they have collected and sell it to anybody who need it or for recycling purpose. there will be somebody who need this 'trash', so usually a 'pengepul' is rich because whatever they buy from 'pemulung', they will always somebody who want to buy it.

Pinky212 (author)Purocuyu2010-02-24

I understand completely where you are coming from.  When people have little or no money and a lot of time, it is time well spent (invested) to create something usable and needed even if the "average" person would not spend the time doing it.  Most 2 worker families in the U.S.A. don't have (or take) the time to bake bread and other bakery items, cook meals, or sew clothes and decorative items.  However, seniors and disabled persons on a limited income (and often at or near the poverty line) who are physically able to spend their time doing those tasks, save (or don't spend as much) money.  Remodeling clothes, hemming pants, hemming and/or remodeling curtains, etc., given to them or purchased cheaply at garage sales/thrift stores can take alot of time.  But, again, it's time well spent for the person who has little money.

strayturk (author)lancesb2010-03-07

Lancesb, you are right for developed countries where labor is expensive, and materials are not, in contrast to underdeveloped ones where this is exactly the opposite.

sree156 (author)2012-03-02

sir, its an innovative idea which has to be appriciated. but what about the foundation what type of foundation is adopted. and how reinforcement is provided please send me the details. i want to work on this topic and do a project. iam a student. m email is

Drakekay (author)2012-03-01

I wonder what kind of city regulations could impact someones desire to build a house like this? It seems like my city is always ridiculously siting people for stuff.

tinker234 (author)2012-02-15

wow i love the look of victroe london do you think i could make a home like thhis but give it a classical lool

alphaseinor (author)2009-04-28

I like the use of materials, I wonder if this will work in the US... much easier to make curved walls. Not to mention the R value for hot climates!

Pinky212 (author)alphaseinor2010-02-24

Zoning laws in many localities would, unfortunately, prohibit home building using this unconventional method.  This may be the case in other first world countries, too.  Of that I do not know.

I know a case in Minnesota, U.S.A. where a home owner was forced to remove a wellbuilt and well designed (small Victorian-like) play house for his granddaughters to play in when they visited.  He'd put in many, many hours of work but because he hadn't obtained building permits for this toy and it was a shelter structure that didn't meet the minimum size allowed, he couldn't keep it.  He choose to move it to another location with less strict building codes, etc.  Pity.

theson (author)Pinky2122012-02-15

Building codes , old building codes, I'm from upstate ny usa , this man in near by town got fined for building a snowfort for his kids, because he didn't have a permit.. no joke.

st.tobi (author)2012-01-19

please i am from Nigeria and really like the high construction ability that was put into this projects.and i also will want to please ask that; what type of foundation is been use in this type of building construction.u can kindly e-mail the steps of foundation to my to via

shirleyinkuwait (author)2011-10-02

Can we fill the bottles with water. Why would that not be an alternative to dirt? Thank you.

wt wlhappent if it get leak

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