Waste PET are being used in Nigeria as construction material- an environmentally smart strategy of chipping away at a housing shortage in Africa's most populous nation.
A prototype is underway near the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna by an NGO Development Association for Renewable Energies (DARE), that wants to extend its efforts and build more. This is the first house in Africa built from bottles, which could go a long way in solving Nigeria's huge housing need and cleaning the badly polluted environment. Built on 624 sq ft plot, the two-bedroom bungalow looks like an ordinary home, but it differs in many ways. It is made from capped, sand-filled plastic bottles, each weighing 3 kgs. The bottles are stacked into layers and bonded together by mud and cement, with an intricate network of strings holding each bottle by its neck, providing extra support to the structure. Bottle caps of various colours protrude from the cement-plastered walls, giving them a unique look. Those behind the project claim the sand-filled bottles are stronger than ordinary cinder blocks. The structure has the added advantage of being fire proof, bullet proof and earthquake resistant, with the interior maintaining a constant temperature of 18 degrees C (64 degrees F) which is good for tropical climate. They are cheap to construct as it costs a quarter of the money required to build a conventional house. With the right adjustments to the supporting pillars the building can be as high as three stories, but can go no higher due to the weight of the sand-filled bottles. The construction, which has reached 70% completion, is estimated to require 14,000 bottles.
Will this be a long term housing solution in Nigeria- a country grappling with a deficit of 16 million housing units that requires (US$300 billion) to meet, according to Nigeria's Federal Mortgage Bank.