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Sandeep Sunstar

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PostSubject: paper cutting   Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:35 pm

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Sandeep Sunstar

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PostSubject: Re: paper cutting   Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:35 pm

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PostSubject: Re: paper cutting   Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:36 pm

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PostSubject: Re: paper cutting   Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:37 pm

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PostSubject: Re: paper cutting   Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:38 pm

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Sandeep Sunstar

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PostSubject: Re: paper cutting   Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:38 pm

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PostSubject: Re: paper cutting   Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:38 pm

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PostSubject: Re: paper cutting   Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:41 pm

[size=200]building with bottles: an earth day update[/size]

A few months ago I posted about our attempts to build a dog house from used plastic bottles. Things have progressed a bit since then:

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Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the first house in Africa built entirely of used plastic bottles.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the first house in Africa built entirely of used plastic bottles.

Background on Plastic Bottle Construction

Plastic bottle construction is the brainchild of Andreas Froese, a German architect and environmental entrepreneur .  Froese developed a method to utilize plastic (PET) bottles, a menace in many developing nations, as “bricks” in the construction of houses, latrines, and water tanks.  A tutorial on the method can be found here.  In 2001 Froese founded Eco-Technologia, a Honduras based environmental construction group.  Since its formation, Eco-Tech has partnered with government groups and NGOs in the construction of over 50 bottle projects across Latin America, India, and most recently, Africa.

Butakoola Village Association for Development

Shortly after we read about the Eco-Tech method and began experimenting with plastic bottle construction, we learned we were not alone in our efforts.  The first plastic bottle construction project in Africa was pioneered here in Uganda by an organization called Butakoola Village Association for Development (BUVAD).  BUVAD is located in Kayunga, a district north of Kampala.  In 2009, a BUVAD community survey revealed that many farmers in Kayunga were experiencing low crop yields due to poor  soil fertility.  A factor contributing to poor fertility was the presence of waste plastics, such as bottles and bags, in the soil.  BUVAD took a creative approach to this problem by addressing yet another: sanitation in schools.   They teamed up with Eco-Tech to bring bottle construction technology to Uganda in the form of a latrine block.  Students and community members at a local primary school collected and filled bottles found throughout the community and together they built a block of latrines for their school.  Constructed in April 2010, BUVAD’s latrine block was the first of its kind on the continent.

When we heard about the work of BUVAD, we invited them to Gulu to train us on bottle construction technology.  Facilitators and trainees spent a week discussing the practical and environmental benefits of plastic bottle construction and then put theory into action in the construction of a self-contained (bathroom included) guest house at St. Monica’s.
Benefits of  Bottle Construction

Waste management –  In areas where tap water is unsafe for drinking, bottled water is quite common, particularly at conferences parties, and gatherings.  A small house can use as many as 10,000 bottles, waste that would otherwise be deposited in a landfill or burned. Since beginning our project, any public event we attend turns into a collection campaign!
Environmental protection – Unlike “traditional” bricks, bottle bricks are not fired, a process which uses much firewood and contributes to deforestation.
Cost effective- Building with bottles is typically less expensive than building with bricks as the main construction material is trash.  In Gulu, many individuals earn money by salvaging used bottles and reselling them on street-corners for use in transporting honey, oil, and other products.  Purchasing bottles from such vendors is still significantly less expensive than purchasing bricks and essentially funds a grassroots recycling campaign in the absence of a government instituted waste management system.
Job creation – The construction process of building with bottles is work intensive.  This means many can be involved in the process, creating opportunities for employment and community involvement, from collecting to filling to building.  In our case, students from the area were invited to fill bottles in exchange for scholastic materials such as notebooks and pencils.  When BUVAD constructed their latrine block, collecting and filling bottles was a way students and parents could contribute to a project that would benefit their school.  While this method would potentially be costly in more industrialized nations, where labor is expensive and materials are cheap, in countries like Uganda, materials are expensive, labor is cheap, and jobs are in demand.
Shock resistant – The plastic coating of “bottle bricks” makes them more flexible than fired bricks.  Bottle construction has greater shock resistance and is well suited for earthquake prone areas.
Long lasting – It is estimated that it takes a plastic bottle approximately 300 years to decompose.
Over the past few months our house has been coming together, bottle by bottle.  Today the roof was raised, making it nearly complete and in fine timing as today is Earth Day.  Just a bit of plastering and painting and our house will be ready for use.  So friends, I give you reason # 995 to visit me in Uganda: you just might get to sleep in the very first plastic bottle house in Africa.  You could even make a pilgrimage of it and road-trip down to Kayunga to pee in the very first plastic bottle latrine in Africa.

Happy Earth Day!
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Sandeep Sunstar

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PostSubject: Re: paper cutting   Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:41 pm

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PostSubject: Re: paper cutting   Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:42 pm

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