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2 liter bottles as building material

 
marty reed
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well i seen house made of aluminum cans on tv and i thought it was preaty cool. i was thinking of useing 2 liter bottles to make siding and roof for small travel trailer. cut the middle out and cut it down the middle and you have raw material of plastice was also thinking of attaching them with a staple gun and layer them like you would shingle a roof from what i have researched plastic bottles can stay in the land fill for 70-350 years so i would think it would last a long time. not sure how it would do in the summer or be super hot ill have find somthing to insulate it with that can be recyled i would like to build the whole trailer out of recyled meterial and show people how to be more self sufficient in these harder times

thechaepguy
 
marty reed
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does anyone now where i can get more information on plastic bottles i would like to know if thay get drittle after having prolong exposed to sun light?
 
Brian Knight
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I think that could work Marty. I cant provide any sources but I can tell you that one of the only thing that breaks down plastic is UV light. It also has a high expansion and contraction rate which could make air sealing difficult, especially with the problem air inside the capped bottles expanding and contracting, but that doesnt really seem to be your plan. Problem is, the air is what would make it good insulation. Plastic isnt a very good insulator until you make it in a way that traps air (think plastic foam). I think as long as you came up with a flexible assembly method and protected it from constant sunlight it could work. Better yet, find a good way of converting bottles to insulative foam!
 
Robert Ray
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Take a look here:
http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/plastic-bottle-homes

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14722179
 
dan murf
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Location: Michigan West Side
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marty reed wrote:does anyone now where i can get more information on plastic bottles i would like to know if thay get drittle after having prolong exposed to sun light?


The UV breaks down HDPEs (High Density Poly ethylene’s) & LLDPEs (Linear Low Densities) real quick. You would be surprised how quick!
We played with Bio Degradable additives with both materials HDPE & LLDPE, All plastics made for sun exposures have a UV stabilizer added to them
 
Brian Knight
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Great link Robert. They are filling the bottles with sand and using them between earthen mortar. This would be a thermal mass wall and is limited to climates with consistent, wide diurnal temp swings. Do climates like that even exist anymore? Apparently in Nigeria they do.
 
dan murf
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I would recommend you do it like the videos.. cover the bottles completely so UV exposure would not be a factor.
 
Parish Smith
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Hey Marty, I made an account just to post this. I actually came across this picture about a week ago for using plastic bottles and staples for corrugated roofing.

http://i.imgur.com/32PGT.jpg

My only concern would be in the durability of both the plastic and staples. I'd assume if you left the plastic out in the sun with no covering, it'd last about a year until it began to start cracking. And if you use normal staples the staples would probably begin to rust and corrode. For the problem with the plastic, maybe you could put a few coatings of cheap non-wax car polish over it. And for the staples, you could either use galvanized staples, or maybe weld the seams of the bottles for a more water-tight solution.
 
marty reed
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thanks for the information every one and the pictures Parish Bracha im going to build a small tear drop trail out of nothing but recyled material i got a boat trailer that will be the fram and have been collecting 2 liter bottels so i can skin it with and looking for other material to use im trying to make this small travel trailer 100% green

thecheapguy
 
marty reed
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i think i was not so clear in my first post i plan on taking a 2 litter bottle and cutting the top and bottom off and splitting then down the middle for a raw flat peace of plactic form what i have learned in this post is the uv light is the only thing that really breaks down the plastice i was woundering if i could coat the plastic with some thing the would not let the uv light in was thinking some thing like paint
 
Tyler Ludens
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Most paints won't stick to PETE plastic bottles. You might need to use a solvent-based paint containing ketones, zylene, etc. These are all toxic.
 
marty reed
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yeah im trying to more green and was looking for something like paint but with out all of the toxins
 
Tyler Ludens
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Without a solvent paint won't stick to the plastic.
 
Peony Jay
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Do they offgas?
http://www.naturallifemagazine.com/0806/asknl.htm
 
Dale Hodgins
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There is no shortage of free campers and trailers with perfectly good aluminum on them. Often they are scrap due to rot or other neglect. You can charge about $100 per ton for disposal in many urban areas. One that was abandoned at my place was scrapped last month. I would have paid $100 for disposal.

The labour required to carefully salvage this siding is vastly less than any bottle processing method I can think of.

If a scrap unit can't be found, aluminum siding from a house could also be used.

If you haven't yet aquired the trailer, it would make sense to look for one that is repairable. Sometimes the interior can be ripped out carefully and wooden studs replaced one at a time while the siding remains standing. Wear a good mask if you find a free one with lots of mold and rot.

With most old campers that haven't suffered a crash, the siding will outlast the interior.

Free truck canopies are abundant. They can be used as a roof for a home built trailer or salvaged for raw materials.
 
Jim Kerwin
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My thoughts; aluminum cans as a building product, fine until a lightning strike if there's too many touching. Glass bottles, great as is, see other houses that have used it & how they used it. Plastic 2 litres, fill w/ sand then bury in the walls as you might a rock or big chunk of wood, make it thick & use a RMH for heat.
 
Gail Moore
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Location: south central Appalachia, southwest Virginia, US zone 6/7
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Marty, check out Blue Rock Station in Ohio. They built greenhouse and such with plastic bottles years ago, so they can share with you about the UV exposure results.

bluerockstation.com

They've built with numerous natural materials, and there is a great video of them: house built out of garbage on their site.

blessings,
max
 
Jonathan Ezell
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Location: zone 7
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marty reed wrote:yeah im trying to more green and was looking for something like paint but with out all of the toxins


park it under some shade trees, additionally maybe everything will get coated with resin and dust. or what about tar and reflective mica shingle-flakes?

edit: oh yea, natural materials - you could lay the shade tree boughs or straw directly on the roof
 
laura sharpe
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I had so many thoughts ...

You can build your wall and coat the outside with non paint things...such as salvaged siding ... i would say cob as well although it wont stick to the plastic it could be much thinner than the support wall.

You can do what they do with cob, which doesnt like rain so much, a big roof overhang to shade.

Using the bottles cut in half for a roof is bad idea, even if someone has already done it. as part of the wall you get away from all the uv exposure. Also you dont just want the bottles, get the caps. A capped bottle will hold more weight. The air not moving thru the bottles in and out will be part of the insulation. If you dont have the original caps the make a cap which is air tight...like a cork.

more thoughts i am sure but cant recall them

 
Greta Fields
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You can make a house solar furnace using aluminum pop cans. See YouTube.
Cut tops out of the cans. Glue the cans together to form one long tube. Place rows of tubes into a box. Paint the cans black with heat resistant paint, because the aluminum gets extremely hot in the sun.
Mountain the box on the side of your house or on a door or window. Run cold air from your house through a dryer vent into the box. Use a tiny fan. Run hot bar from the top of the "furnace" back into the house through a second vent.
You can use an electric fan. But I wonder if you couldn't use a solar fan somehow.
 
Kim Hill
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If you are mostly interested in using plastics why not think about using plastic grocery bags. There is a simple technique to fuse them together into layers which can then be sewn together. I am thinking of something like a huge tarp type thing you could use as a skin on a trailer. If you are looking at buidling a teardrop the plastic "tarp" might work to cover the entire thing. I am not sure how waterproof the sewn together edges are but if there were more than one layer with the seams staggered, maybe that would keep the water out.

For the plastic bottles, I am wondering if they could somehow be flattened. Instead of a roof they could then be used for flooring, maybe like tiles. You would not have to worry about light issues then. I would think they could then be used on the walls, overlapping, in a shower area to keep it dry (but then a teardrop does not have a shower
 
Greta Fields
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Hi Kim,
Maybe you could use all those plastic bags for insulation between thermal window shades, instead of buying bubble wrap to use. I have to isulate 4 X 6 windows in my house somehow, so I use bubble wrap, but it costs a lot. I have never tried to sew plastic myself.
I guess you were addressing the whole group regarding plastic bottles etc. I was talking about using aluminum cans, however.
 
Brenda Groth
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i would also be concerned with the plastic breaking down in uv light..near our home there is a home made up entirely (walls) of glass bottles and mortar, IN FREEZING MICHIGAN, and it has been standing for well over 50 years..I remember it when I was a small child and I'm 62 this year.

It is also beautiful.. see this link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_J._Makinen_Bottle_House
 
Greta Fields
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Another problem might be leaks. Cordwood houses leak, and they are made with mortar around the logs too. I had never heard of that bottle house in Michigan. Looks like a lot of trouble to me. If I had to build a house, I would build it out of rocks, if I could figure out a good way to insulate it.
 
Nick Kitchener
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Sort of related...
About 8 mins into this video they show how empty wine bottles can be used as under floor insulation:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHIKg7S0JVY
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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