House in Adama built entirely of used plastic bottles

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Simcon Technologies plc, under the parent company, Smart Management Services, has launched an environmentally friendly and affordable housing project. The company inaugurated the first ever villa constructed solely by plastic waste bottles, 61,000 of them in fact, at an event held on Thursday February 8. The new project took over 18 months from the first studies to the finished product. It was applied at a plot located on the outskirts of Adama, 99km east of Addis Ababa by Simcon, which has developed several innovative business in the past couple of years.simcon-technologies-2
According to Adel Abdella (PhD), CEO of Smart Management Services, it was difficult to convince engineers. “It took time to realize the project since it was considered unfeasible by engineers who believed that at the very least the building needed a steel structure,” he added.
Adel told Capital that the villa from its foundation is constructed without steel or stone, but instead one liter plastic bottles filled with soil are used to construct the entire outer wall. “The interior partition of the villa has three bedrooms, two washrooms and a living room and kitchen and they all were built with with half-liter size plastic bottles,” he added.
The house only took three weeks to build, without the finishing work. It was shown to representatives from government offices in Oromia and the federal government. The project owners gave detailed explanations about the plastic bottle housing project, which has become a viable option in Asian, Latin America and even some African countries.
“These type of housing projects have become well accepted in countries like India and Bangladesh and even public facilities like hospitals or education centers that are constructed with waste plastic bottles,” Adel explained. He said that a G+4 houses were also constructed in India without any additional steel structures and he also expects to commence a G+1 building in the same compound he built this house in at Adama.
The CEO of Smart Management Services plc, a holding company for several businesses operating in education, agriculture, hospitality, manufacturing, and consultancy sectors and others said that several international studies have been conducted about the benefit and the effect of the plastic bottle houses. He said that the house constructed by plastic bottles is very durable and is even stronger than conventional houses and is a good opportunity for arid/hot areas since its ventilation is natural and does not exceeded more than 18 degrees Celsius. “Studies indicate that a house constructed by plastic bottles has a strength of 20 times a house erected by clay brick,” Adel explained to visitors who attended the inaugural.
According to studies, in terms of cost the house project constructed with soil filled plastic bottles is significantly less expensive than conventional houses sometimes up to 70 percent less. For instance the model house constructed at Adama on 100 square meters consumed only 342,000 birr, while according to the conventional cost a professionally done house would cost 1.2 million birr.
Adel believes that the technology will be a good opportunity to alleviate housing problems in urban areas since little land is available. “We have been able to construct a villa with three bedrooms that would be considered a luxury but with a very reasonable cost. If the area is minimized and the number of bedrooms reduced the cost will also go down,” he added.
“Besides the stated benefits the main issue would be the environmental protection that recently has affected our planet because of these kinds of plastic bottles,” experts from Ministry of Science and Technology said. The model villa has consumed about 53,000 plastic bottles for the house, and 8,000 for the rest of the compound.
Simcon Technologies is a company formed two years ago to produce construction related products. They are currently producing artificial marble and granite tiles with the composition of soil and sand at Kality. “We have a patent right from Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office for the production of such tiles that enable us to reduce the imported volume,” the owner said.