Building made of bottle, sand, mud and cement
Building made of bottle, sand, mud and cement

Building made of bottle, sand, mud and cement
Building made of bottle, sand, mud and cement

One of the major problems Nigeria is currently battling with is housing, developers expressing concern over possible ways of solving this challenge, have arrived with the concept of erecting a standard (although local) house with the use of disposed bottles and mud.
After their realisation of the simple fact that there is countless number of plastic bottles everywhere – water bottles, soda bottles, reusable bottles among others, according to the United States National Park’s Service, that it takes a plastic bottle as long as 450 years to decompose.
Also clearly understanding that housing is a basic human need in Nigeria – Africa’s most populous nation, this concept would go a long way in drastically reducing the speculated 17 million housing deficit the country is currently passing through.
But to address this housing shortage, at most, up to 16 million housing units will be needed and would demand a relatively high budget to be accomplished. The solution to this at the moment is if the Federal Government welcomes this innovation, invest to see that building plastic bottle homes, which is the latest inventive approach, would go the distance in reducing the housing crisis, even cut expenses and help our environment.
Reports have it that the concept was conceived by a Kaduna based Non-Governmental Organisations, NGOs, Development Association for Renewable Energies, DARE, with the aid of London based NGO – Africa Community Trust.
The said project eliminates the problem with housing shortage and at th same time would benefit the environment. Also, solid waste pollutions in landfills and the hazards it brings to animals will be minimised as the house is expected to generate zero carbon emission.
According to some reports published in the Elitereaders Platform, “To create a two-bedroom bottle house, workers start filling empty bottles with sand, then holding them together using mud and cement, this form a solid wall that is stronger than cinder blocks. In addition, it is completely powered by solar panels and methane from recycled human and animals waste,” it read.
The house was also described as a colourful, bulletproof, fire proof and earthquake resistance house still needs at least 14, 000 bottles in order to be constructed. The building can be built to three stories,but no to high, due to weight of the sand filled bottles. And of course, the magnificent diversity of recycled bottles give each house a unique and bright look.
It has also been attested that homeowners will be comfortable with the temperature inside the house all year round, the project has been successful in most parts of the north and is said to be the same in Nigeria as a whole, one that is also likely to progress in fellow African Countries..
The innovation can truly change the lives of most homeless Nigerians as it starts from gathering pile of garbage bottles, mud, sand and cement to erecting a structure habitable by man.
Coverage by the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC in 2015 revealed that, Nigeria’s first house built from discarded plastic bottles is proving a tourist attraction in the village of Yelwa.
Hundreds of people – including government officials and traditional leaders – have been coming to see how the walls are built in the round architectural shape popular in northern Nigeria.
The bottles, packed with sand, are placed on their side, one on top of the other and bound together with mud.
“I wanted to see this building because I was surprised to hear it was built from plastic bottles,” said Nuhu Dangote, a trader who travelled from the state capital, Kaduna, to see the house.
The real beauty of the house is its outside wall as the round bottoms of the exposed bottles produce a lovely design. But for those behind the project, its environmental benefits are what are most important.
Other findings have shown that the “bottle brick” technology started nine years ago in India, South and Central America, providing a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly alternative to conventional building bricks.
Yahaya Ahmed of Nigeria’s Development Association for Renewable Energies estimates that a bottle house will cost one third of what a similar house made of concrete and bricks would cost. It is also more durable.
“Compacted sand inside a bottle is nearly 20 times stronger than bricks,” he says. “We are even intended to build a three-storey building.”
The bottle houses are also ideally suited to the hot Nigerian climate because the sand insulates them from the sun’s heat, helping to keep room temperatures low.
And because of the compact sand, they are bullet-proof – which may also prove another attraction in more insecure parts of the north.
A firm concrete foundation is laid to ensure that the structure is firm and stable – and the sand is sieved to make sure it is compact.
“You need to sieve it to remove the stones otherwise it will not be nice and it would not be able to pass through the mouth of the bottle,” explains Dolly Ugorchi, who has been trained in bottle house building.
Some have expressed concern about the amount of sand needed for the new houses.”My fear is that this building method will increase the demand for sand and even lead to an increase in the price of sand,” says Mumuni Oladele, a mason in the southern city of Lagos.
“At the moment people looking for sand to build houses, dig everywhere to get the sand. You can imagine what will happen when the demand for sand goes up to build bottle houses.”
According to market research company Zenith International, most water in Nigeria is sold in small plastic bags, but it says the bottled water market is growing – accounting for about 20-25% of official sales, the equivalent of up to 500m litres a year.
This means discarded plastic bottles are actually sought after in Nigeria where they are often used for storage or by street vendors to sell produce like peanuts.
The bottles for these houses are currently being sourced from hotels, restaurants, homes and foreign embassies. While the project also hopes to help to remove children who do not go to school from their life on the streets.


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