Next In Sustainable Living: Beer Bottle Houses

By: Mamta

As people move to more sustainable ways of living, some innovative architects have begun using recycled materials to create more environmentally-friendly habitats. Incredibly, beer bottles have become a primary means of this style of building, with far-ranging benefits including cheap construction, recycling and up-cycling, pollution reduction, natural solar power lighting, and natural insulation. The environment will definitely thank these clever builders for these eco-friendly beer buildings.

Buddhist Temple in Khun Han, Thailand

Though drinking is considered a sin in Buddhism, 1.5 million green Heineken and brown Chang beer bottles went into the construction of the Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew temple. Located in the city of Khun Han, in north-east Thailand, the complex has been decades in the making. Enlisting the help of local authorities and residents, monks started collecting bottles in 1984. From the recyclables they have created the 20-building complex featuring the temple, houses, restrooms, crematorium, and also mosaics from discarded bottle tops.

The complex works as an eco-friendly, recycling initiative, functional building (the bottles don’t fade and are easy to clean), and – through the play of light on glass and the amount of elbow grease invested – a reflection of a cleansed mind and the discipline of Buddhism. The initiative has also helped clean up local pollution, and monks intend to expand further with every bottle they can collect.

The House Made Of 6 Million Beer Bottles

Topping even the Buddhist temple is one man, Tito Ingenieri’s, 19-year-in-the-making, 6 million bottles-of-beer-on-the wall house in Buenos Aires. He collected the motley assortment of bottles from neighbours and the street, and, after one hopes a thorough cleaning, stacked the bottles to create the foundations/walls of his house. Apart from being extremely environmentally-friendly, aesthetically pleasing and an inspirational culmination of hard work, the house is also musical! True to form, the bottle necks whistle when the wind passes through.

An Entire Village Constructed With Beer Bottles

Long before recycling was in vogue, and Tito or the Thai monks started even collecting their bottles, Tressa ‘Grandma’ Prisbrey had already begun work on her very own beer village, in Simi Valley, California. In 1956, and over a span of 25 years, Grandma Prisbrey collected the discarded bottles by her alcoholic husband and litter from the local landfill to build the impressive Bottle Village.

Originally, Grandma Prisbrey and her husband purchased the land, and because of tight budgets, she resorted to collecting litter to create a building to house her pencil collection (no joke). Gradually, the pencil house turned into an artistic masterpiece of 23 buildings, mosaic pathways, shrines, gardens, sculptures, and wishing wells, all trash turned into treasure. Though the village was badly damaged after the 1994 Northridge earthquake, and only 3 of the original structures remain, the village stills stands as a testament to the sustainability of eco-friendly building practices.

Prince Edward Island Bottle Houses

Upon receiving a postcard of a glass house from his daughter in 1979, Edouard T Arsenalt was inspired to build the Bottle Houses in Cap-Egmont, Prince Edward Island, Canada. After collecting bottles from his local community – restaurants, neighbours, friends – and spending a winter holed up in his basement cleaning them, Arsenalt began construction on the first house in 1980. Four years and 25,000 bottles later, the Bottle Houses were complete. The tourist attraction boasts of six gabled houses, a tavern, and a chapel – all built by Arsenalt cementing colourful bottles together – surrounded by breathtaking gardens.

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