Build a bottle house

Do you want to build a solid house, school, workshop or training center or shop  from plastic bottles?

This manual will  guide you to the execution of your plastic bottle construction. If you need any more detailed information you can find it on Bottle schools, houses, workshops etc.  are built using tried and tested post and beam construction. The foundations, columns and beams are made from concrete reinforced with iron rebar. The difference with traditional construction is that instead of cinder-blocks, the walls are made using “eco-bricks”. If you’re experienced in post and beam construction, it’s not difficult to build a bottle school: there are just a few small differences. The most important thing is to harness the power of community to collect and stuff the bottles to make “eco-bricks”, to follow the instructions in the Bottle School Manual. Below you can see an overview of how a bottle school comes together. Source (biggest part) information


Step 1: Collect bottles and trash Children and adults from the community collect bottles and inorganic trash from surrounding rivers, streets and countryside. It takes around 6,500 bottles stuffed full of trash such as chip packets and plastic bags to build a two-classroom school.

Step 2: Make eco-bricks Community members stuff the bottles full of cleaned inorganic trash, using sticks or pieces of rebar. You can fit a lot of trash into a plastic bottle! It’s important that the bottles are stuffed full, until they are hard like bricks, and that there is no air inside the bottles. Most easy way is to fill the collected bottles  with adobe (sand, clay, and water with a bit of straw, twigs or manure thrown in). A small mixing machine as you see on the picture above made the filling much easier.

Step 3: Dig foundations Foundations are dug for the bottle school, in the same way as with a regular cinder-block school. The depth of the foundations depends on local soil conditions.

Step 4: Assemble the frame (columns and beams) This is the most time-consuming part of the construction process, and the most important for the structural integrity of the school. First the floor beam is poured, then the columns, the intermediate beam and the upper beam, and finally the roof beams. It’s important to use the correct mix of concrete and enough rebar!

Step 5: Insert pins into the columns and beams Before the columns and beams dry and harden, pins are inserted into them. These are used to attach the chicken wire (see next step).

Step 6: Attach chicken wire to the pins Chicken wire is rolled out and pulled as tight as possible before the pins are bent to secure the chicken wire in place.

Step 7: Tie bottles to the chicken wire Bottles are tied to the chicken wire, row by row. We work in teams of two – one person places the bottles against the chicken wire, while the other passes through a loop of nylon thread and pulls it tight around each bottle.

Step 8: Spread cement Once all the bottles are in place in one wall, a second layer of chicken wire is pulled tightly over them, so that the bottles are sandwiched in between two layers of chicken wire. Next, three layers of cement stucco are applied on top of the bottles, the final layer providing a smooth, clean finish.

Step 9: Add the roof Affix the rafters and secure corrugated tin roofing on top using the same method as building a traditional roof.

Step 10: Lay the floor Level the ground and lay gravel. Pour the concrete floor and smooth it out.

Step 11: Add the doors and windows Add the (metal) doors and windows.

Step 12: Inaugurate and celebrate The whole community comes together to dedicate the school and celebrate the possibilities that have been created by this newfound educational opportunity. If you want to build a plastic bottle house or a plastic bottle school you can find all the information you need under this link

This manual is not designed to teach you how to build a bottle school single-handed. Your job will be to bring many people together with different roles and skills to make the project work well. We’re not expecting you to know how to mix cement or tie rebar, but a good understanding of the basic principles will make you a better facilitator. Source information: a. b.


Searching for other ideas and  information to build a ‘ green house’ . Look to the possibillities of earthbag houses: