Recently, I came across this video which in short highlights an initiative to provide housing for homeless in Columbia by building 430sqft structures out of recycled plastic!
At a glance, it is a brilliant altruistic idea that has a lot of potential in helping an array of housing and environmental issues present in almost every country. This not only includes populations that are homeless, but those that may have been displaced due to naturally occurring disasters, social/political strife, war, or those areas which are experiencing shortages of material or an abundance of trash. The process demonstrated in the video appears simple enough:
Collect plastics (bottles, containers, etc.) → mill them down → melt and mold into bricks → stack via tongue and groove.
On a more critical note, I still harbor some questions about it:
- The structural stability of these houses
- The lifespan of the material ( how it will degrade and affect the environment)
- Potential hazardous health effects from long-term exposure to the plastics and additives
- Large-scale feasibility for a large issue
What are your thoughts on utilizing this material? I would also love to hear if you know more about the specifics of this project?