Natural Building With Waste Glass Bottles
“Using bottles and glass from the Kathmandu streets”
Without a recycling facility in Nepal, glass bottles usually end up in open dumps or on the street. At KRMEF Village we have started to recycle these bottles by incorporating them into windows and walls. Our next project is to build a house with this technique that will serve as an example to the public.
KRMEF intends to develop the village while building with materials that are locally available. Most of Nepal’s buildings are made from concrete posts and floors with infill brick, all with hi-embodied energy and not earthquake proof.
- Build with what is at hand; unfortunately, trash is everywhere. Building with waste bottles and trash is regenerative. The bamboo structure and roof is a flexible structural system, which will sway but not break during an earthquake.
- A building method has been developed – from October 2010 – April 2011 – with a bamboo structure, thatched roof, and walls from waste glass bottles set in natural plaster (sand and clay with chopped-up straw and waste paper).
- With villagers and volunteers, a small cottage (chappro, or dignified working man’s cottage) was built at the foundation, serving as a model and guest room, at the end of 2010. In the process, we began to form a team of villagers to continue this work.
- An addition was built onto the community center, completed in May 2011. The building team was fully trained to continue this work.
Three year plan / Outcomes:
- A building method is established which absorbs waste – 3 – 4000 bottles and 14 – 18 sacks of shredded paper per home – and doesn’t use building materials being shipped great distances.
- The waste bottles come from the US and German Embassies, and restaurants in Kathmadu; the shredded paper comes from the US Embassy.
- Each home cost $2000 USD.
- This building method is low in skill yet high in labor, creating 8 jobs per project.
- Develop a building for profit business – there are already a few villagers who want to build their home with this natural building method. The team would build those homes and then build a chappro for a person/family in need with the profits. Whoever each chappro is for helps to build their home, and then volunteers on next few for profit projects to pay back, which trains them so they can then become a part of the next building team (and thus be employed).
- There are two other additions onto the Community Center (the center of the village, with hi-visibility) planned – one which will house community toilets (some homes don’t have plumbing) while the second addition will house a cafe.
- Take this building method to other parts of Nepal, training crews just as we have in Kharare. This building method has attracted great interest; we will be running a building workshop in the summer of 2011 to build an orphanage in another part of the Kathmandu Valley. We will continue to travel in Nepal, helping other organizations expand their operations and training work crews to continue this work in their region. There is considerable need; we will work with 3 – 4 such organizations a year. We will offer two forms of this remote workshop – with a foreign leader when the organization in need brings foreign volunteers to help, and with the Nepal building team leading the workshop when only Nepalis helping to build.
- A Program Manager would be employed to oversee operations, including for each building project – one going on the first year, two the second and three by the third, as workers are trained – and arranging workshop sand maintain relationship to support communities where KRMEF has further propagated their work.
- The Community Center is completed, via two more additions.
- Two – three for profit projects are completed each year.
- Two – three homes for those in need are completed each year.
- Three work crews are trained and employed.
- Workshops are taught in other parts of Nepal, 3 – 4 times a year. Other villages adopt these principles and methods.