There are some inspiring techniques being developed in the alternative housing sector: cob-houses, plastic bottle houses and strawbale houses amongst many others and combinations of these different styles. This is an exciting industry that expands our thinking on what a house is, how it affects our health and pockets. Many yogi’s and yogini’s are exploring alternative methods to match their idea of what a yoga lifestyle entails, harmony with the Earth and questionable economic systems.
One of our students, Ian, has become very excited about building houses with ‘bricks’ made from plastic bottles. I’ve copied his latest newsletter below. You can find out more about this exciting project at http://ecobrickexchange.wix.com/ecobrickexchange.
The EcoBrick Exchange are looking for lots of plastic bottles: 1,5L and 2L. You are welcome to bring them to yoga so Ian can collect them (I’ll restrain myself from giving any comments about sugar- and chemical-laced sodas, hee hee).
Greetings to All!
There have been many exciting developments in the last little while that I’d like to share with you.
Forgive me if I get too technical with the building materials – I just find it too damn interesting to leave out!
Firstly I returned to Greyton last week to photograph an Ecobrick building that is under construction and is part of the up-coming Trash to Treasure festival. I was just in time to meet Nicki Vernon, Joseph Stodgel and Candice Mostert (the movers and shakers behind the festival).
It was awesome to learn about the construction methods, challenges they’ve faced as well as the fact that any 1.5L/2L plastic bottle can be used!
I’ve posted an album of my findings on our Facebook page so please have a perusal.
Fortunately I will be able to witness the ‘fruits of the festival’ on my next visit at the end of this Month.
Whilst down in the Cape I met up with Andy Horn from Eco Design Architects. He spent an hour showing me full size examples of haybail & cob walls, sandbag walls and other earth construction techniques. His knowledge of this field is immense and so he gave me a thorough understanding of how these natural materials react to pressure and moisture.
I had a moisture concern regarding the concrete plastering technique used in Guatemala as they don’t have to worry about the wind&rain combinations (as we do).
Andy suggested the haybail&cob as an eco-friendly alternative. This consists of:
a central haybail core (+-180mm thick) which is held in place by a lightweight timber frame
a cob layer on either side of the haybail core (each +-70mm thick)
a lime exterior finish (+-20mm thick)________bringing the total wall thickness to 340mm!
The high clay content of the cob layer slows down moisture movement (soil with too much clay retards drainage resulting in puddles on the surface).
The lime finish prevents water ingress, gives the wall a rock hard texture, and its appearance is similar to that of a concrete wall.
We discussed substituting the haybails with a combination of ecobricks and hay. He assured me that this would provide good insulation.
He has expressed interest in our organization and has offered to help develop this haybail/cob/ecobrick technique.
Back home we’ve also had some exciting developments. Bay TV was happy to become our media partner, so much so that they’ve scheduled an interview in the studio tomorrow! Any fun wardrobe suggestions are welcome. Once the bit is edited it shall run twice daily.
Now I just need to work on my camera shyness!
Our first live event is this Saturday at the 0h!41 Local Market on Havolock Square. If you’re in town please come say hi. We’ll be giving away starter bricks, doing demonstrations and generally sharing our cause. We’re organizing some fun raffles and prizes and will host an open source meeting around our whiteboard. Please could all our PE friends collect all 2L bottles and plastic waste and either bring it to the stall at 10am on Saturday or tell me when I could collect it. We need lots of material for the starter bricks and the “ecobrick stuffing race.”
The Red Sock Friday team sent us a big box of socks for us to sell. I can’t get over how awesome the knee-high ones are! They’ll be available at our stall, otherwise just shout if you need a pair. Curious about the Red Sock Friday story? follow the link below:
We’re securing our local business partners (as drop off points) before the end of Friday. We currently have The Grind cafe (previously Deli Street cafe), Headcandy hair and beauty salon, and Tile&brick down as definite, while Floradale nursery, Shambala Spa, Xpress Printing and Summerstrand Hardware still need to confirm. Please shout if you know of any other Local business that you think would be interested.
Lastly the friendly manager at Woolworths informed me that we are illegible to become a “Myschool” beneficiary! This could be a great way for non PE South Africans to contribute (:
That’s it for today, I hope that the second half of your week whizzes by!!