House made from recycled plastic blocks

   / House made from recycled plastic blocks #1  

wroughtn_harv

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We are building the first home made with these blocks on the SMU campus for SMU Engineering & Humanity Week - Home

What we have is a manual machine that compresses trash plastic to make building blocks to build housing. It was intended for developing nations but there is quite a bit of interest from the off the grid types too.

If you are in Dallas and want to visit us on campus (parking is a nightmare) please do. If you want to follow us on facebook then please give us a "like".

Our regular website (I've been told websites for old folks, kids use facebook and twitter) isn't updated much because the host is having issues.

This is open source. That means no one can get a patent on it because I chose not to get a patent on it, instead, go open source. If you want to follow the drawings and photos and make your own machine you can do so. If you want to build your own blocks and build you own house of your own design that is okay too. Anyone anywhere can do what they want with it, the ultimate control is no control.

Before the engineers here jump they might want to check to see they have on their underwear. Those kinds of questions are for engineers. I'm not an engineer. But if it makes them feel warm and fuzzy after the event at SMU the house we are building is going to OU. After being displayed at their green week the house is going to be turned over to the Structural and Environmental engineering labs for testing. We will then have those things the engineers find so endearing, the numbers.

Yeah, I know, it's not the way things are supposed to be done.

Some interesting points for those interested. There is enough foam and film plastics used to build this model home to fill a large frontloader garbage truck. We're using foam and film plastics here because everything else is picked up with curbside recycling. But all plastics and be used to make blocks.

The blocks weigh less than two pounds using foam and film, six to eight with other plastics.

No fossil fuel or electricity is used to manufacture the blocks. The machine is designed to work in the worst of places under the harshest of conditions.

As we speak one of the world's authorities on dirt plastering is on her way from New York to Dallas. She is going to be in charge of the plastering inside and outside. Google "Patti Stouter".

As of right now there are no structural measurements. That's because this is less than five months old. The numbers will follow. Engineers.......

You are right! That is old bale wrap we are using to supplement the chicken wire for the plaster.
 

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   / House made from recycled plastic blocks #2  
Harvey, looks like things are moving along. I like the idea and the way you're going about it. I'll look for updates here being that I'm "old" and don't "tweet" or facebook "look".:D
 
   / House made from recycled plastic blocks #3  
looks cool
 
   / House made from recycled plastic blocks #4  
That looks interesting, straw bale building with an urban byproduct.:thumbsup:

Have you considered the bale density and how it may compact over time? Also is any of the plastics biodegradable? That would reduce bale density over time.

The other thing is any out gassing of VOCs to consider? I have always considered 'Earthships', buildings made from old tyres, very risky as the VOCs could cause health problems in the longer term.

Do you have any weight supporting structure? I only see steel rebar whereas strawbale houses often have a timber frame.

I will watch this one with interest.
 
   / House made from recycled plastic blocks
  • Thread Starter
#5  
That looks interesting, straw bale building with an urban byproduct.:thumbsup:

Have you considered the bale density and how it may compact over time? Also is any of the plastics biodegradable? That would reduce bale density over time.

The other thing is any out gassing of VOCs to consider? I have always considered 'Earthships', buildings made from old tyres, very risky as the VOCs could cause health problems in the longer term.

Do you have any weight supporting structure? I only see steel rebar whereas strawbale houses often have a timber frame.

I will watch this one with interest.

If the off gasing is a threat then we are all dead. The blocks are made from stuff all around us all the time. The walls are intended to be plastered anyway because some of the stuff will deteriorate in the sunlight. Besides that, we've been covering ugly with plaster forever as human beings.

These aren't designed for multi-storied buildings. Compressive values aren't much of an issue because an eight foot wall of block made from regular plastics will only weigh about seventy to eighty pounds per running foot. If you use the foam we are using then you are looking at twenty pounds a foot.

This isn't at this time designed for the engineers. It is designed to replace cardboard, tarpaper, plastic tarp, pallet, and worse housing that a third of the world's population have now. It's not perfect. But at least it's an attempt to help.
 
   / House made from recycled plastic blocks #6  
Very noble goal Harvey. I admire your drive and tenacity!!:thumbsup:
 
   / House made from recycled plastic blocks #7  
Harvey,
best of luck on your endeavor.

Roy
 
   / House made from recycled plastic blocks #8  
What will bear the weight of the roof?
Do you anticipate any issues with fire rating of the building, or will the plaster covering solve that concern?
Finally, if the building is that light, then is wind loading a concern or, again, will the stucco job solve the issue?
BOB
 
   / House made from recycled plastic blocks #9  
Dang Harvey! Leave it to you to have a building with a whole new system of measurement. If somebody asks where to put something, you can tell them 3-Target bags over and 2-Walmart bags up.;):laughing:

I LOVE seeing it coming together. A finished structure is just what you need to make your dream become reality. Full speed ahead!:thumbsup:
 
   / House made from recycled plastic blocks #10  
I've seen baled plastic like that, they used a small square baler and fed the plastic in the front. The bales were only used for convenience to ship it to the recycling depot but it looks like they could be a raw material too.
 
 
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