How to Construct Houses with Plastic Bottles !!

Contest Winner
Picture of How to Construct Houses with Plastic Bottles !!
sala maria.JPG
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
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
1-40 of 93Next »
LysaK1 month ago

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*.

BenniGholami3 months ago

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…

Tashie184 months ago

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?

ShobanaS7 months ago

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

ruthy nov5 years ago
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.

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???

Really I proud bcoz I am indian

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!!!
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".

bigb09861 year ago
great idea!
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 !… :)
What type of twine or string is being used to tie the bottles together? Is it an eco-friendly product?
wolfscrypt2 years ago
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.
tomasihvon2 years ago
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?
tygger2812 years ago
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?
win = wine (too much of it, I guess!)
lancesb5 years ago
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.

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
sree1563 years ago
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
Drakekay3 years ago
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.
tinker2343 years ago
wow i love the look of victroe london do you think i could make a home like thhis but give it a classical lool
alphaseinor5 years ago
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!
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 Pinky2123 years ago
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.tobi3 years ago
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
Can we fill the bottles with water. Why would that not be an alternative to dirt? Thank you.
wt wlhappent if it get leak
bondel3 years ago
sir working on the plastics especially on the plastic as constructive material. and also wanted to aware the people so, that the environment becomes ecofriendly. iam civil engineering student there are arise of several questions in me that the structural efficiency of the building , can a multistory building construction is possible,factor of safety , when fire accident occurs then plastic is burnt many toxic gases are released, many civil questions are there sir. sir can u help me for working on this paper and send data if possible for u sir . my gmail id is
tatochr3 years ago
Love the ideas, but have one concern: In the event of a fire, there is a risk for toxic fumes, how can this be prevented or mitigated?
rflores83 years ago
Pls help me to know and make this kind of saving act to our environment. if you couold pls sent us the procedure and the materials to be used. i appreciate it a lot. thank you! and hoping for your great response. GODBLESS
dahut3 years ago
This is a particularly good concept where insulating values do not need to be really high, as in the warmer climates. There is something to be said for insulating even there, as buildings tend to be cooler for it. But the structural strength of sand filled bottles cannot be denied. FIlling them and laying them down could be worth the trade off.

Unless, of course, you stand the EMPTY bottles ON END. Ive seen walls built this way elsewhere on 'Ibles, with the bottles captured between two sheets of mesh to hold them together. Finally the whole is filled with mortar mix. You get the insulating value of air filled bottles with the upright rigidity of the bottles own structure.
Add some reinforcing bars to these sections and some posts every 4 feet and there you go
Snoopytooth5 years ago
It doesn't describe how to make square corners and the diagrams don't show that part.

Please can you add to this instructable how to end the straight walls?
The pictures show corners as Columns with two flat walls coming in at whatever angle you want thats why it says it needs at least three columns you can't build a house with two corners unless you use curved walls
IF your not a pro this won't come easy. Laying brick, er bottles, can't be learned over night. Well if you want a good end product that is. You'll need to layout the wall, consider reinforcing, then be able to lay the "corner lead" level, plumb, square (if called for), and in range. IF you can't do so within a certain tolerance you jeopardize the stability of the structure.  If you can, then bravo.

If your a novice the best thing to do would be to hire (or barter) the services of a bricklayer to lay the corners for you. The corners are built first and then the middle is filled in. If you want to play, jump in the middle of the wall where you can be "supervised" by the pros and really can't muck things up too much.
1-40 of 93Next »