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Re-cycled housing

Decent housing from recycled plastic

Photo of Oscar Andres Mendez Gerardino
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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

I would like to solve deficit housing, the idea is to transform all recycled plastic into constructive system, we can give this plastic another life at the same time than it helps to reduce deficit housing. It is a extrusion process and can help many low income families.

WHO BENEFITS?

low income people, people without a decent housing, they benefit living in that homes and we have to find the way they works looking for supplies (raw material), that idea is still in implementation process in Colombia.

HOW DOES YOUR IDEA TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE CONTEXT OF URBAN SLUMS AND CLIMATE CHANGE?

Is a replicable idea should climb and interact with governments and organizations that are involved in recycling issues, you can create synergies that benefit vulnerable communities give them a solution like decent housing.

IN-COUNTRY EXPERIENCE

  • Yes, for two or more years

EXPERTISE

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for at least two years

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

  • I'm not sure

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

Im an architect with plastic production experience, we started to sell the solution we make 1 year ago and we have work with refugee noruega council, the project has onu best practice price and also some recognitions in our country, we are working in an innovative and disruptive business model.

43 comments

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Photo of Aaron
Team

Hello Oscar,
Congratulations with these great innovations. I am interested in the project and would like to embark on it in some the developing countries. How much are the respect house will cost to erect. For example, 2, 3 and bedrooms. Awaiting for your advise please.

Best regards.

Aaron

Photo of PIYUSH ANAND
Team

Hi Oscar , I am from India and in to supply of construction material , your idea is perfect for a country like ours where there is huge plastic disposal and scarce of economic housing structures . Would you be willing to share more details on this project of yours to develop something for the the Indian conditions please do share your thoughts and brochure so we could align our efforts for a better tomorrow , email : busasdef@gmail.com

Photo of MrKeepfaith .
Team

Hello, i'm from indonesia. How can i get involve in your program to applying it in indonesia. Thank you.

Photo of Colt Duppen
Team

Hey Oscar, this is an incredible idea and I don't know how it would be possible but how would someone get involved in something like this? I'd be more than happy to give my time to something like this and learn how to make this possible, not only in Columbia but in other developing countries with this problem.

I'm extremely interested in how this would work and would love to know how to get involved.

Photo of amar_zpc -
Team

Hello Mendez,
The Idea is Awesome. I would like to know the costing for the recycle ? I am from India, we have lot of issues with the plastics as well as the homeless people on the streets. so, I would like to replicate the idea in our country. So, Please help me out know , how we can work together.

Photo of Chad Balauro
Team

Hello, Interesting concept! can the technology produce materials on-site? if yes, there will be employment. how do you manage post disaster? do you plan to install a shared manufacturing facility for building things?

Photo of mHS CITY LAB
Team

Neat idea to construct housing from recycled plastic. This type of housing could be part of the solutions for housing issues in informal settlements in developing countries. You mentioned below about structural studies and behavioral studies for earthquakes. Do you have more information about this or are the studies available? Also, what is the expected lifetime of such a recycled plastic house?

Photo of Oscar Andres Mendez Gerardino
Team

Hello mHS City Lab, thanks for your interest.
We have structural studies with the results of laboratory tests of the products manufactured by us, are also load tested in scale 1-1

The shelf life is extended to the time degradation of the plastic, which in this case to be as thick profile (7cm) may be extended for a period of over 200 years

Photo of mHS CITY LAB
Team

Thanks for your reply and wow about the 200 years! Sounds like a great use of all the plastic lying around these days...

Photo of Sandrina Pinto
Team

Hi Oscar. I think this is a very interesting idea that can help many people in the world.

Photo of Oscar Andres Mendez Gerardino
Team

Hello Sandrina, this is true, this technology can help many homeless people, thanks for your comment

Photo of Vinh Pham
Team

Great idea ! It would be an ideal solution for housing issues.

Photo of Oscar Andres Mendez Gerardino
Team

Hello Vinh, thank you for the comment

Photo of My Huynh
Team

Hello Oscar,
This would be an interesting idea to work on for deficit house.
I dont have any experience in structural engineering, but I'd like to hear more to understand how the design will work out. i.e: how material can stick together, is that using eco-friendly material, any hazard or potential issues, etc.
I'd love to read your idea in further phase of the challenge.

Photo of Oscar Andres Mendez Gerardino
Team

Hello My,

The system is like a Lego, so any material paste between blocks is not necessary, is bordered by a profile that we call universal, it is the profile that is used as foundation beams, columns and beams closing, these elements are linked by metal plates with screws. Only these metallic elements are those that require maintenance.

It is an acoustic and heat resistant system that can be armed with self-construction.

Photo of Mukami Mathai
Team

Good ideal that will kill two birds with one stone. Provide low cost housing, and conserving the environment by utilizing recycled plastic. What do you use to hold the plastic together? Is it strong enough to keep intruders out?

All the best,
Lucy

Photo of Oscar Andres Mendez Gerardino
Team

Hi Lucy, thanks for your comment

The plastic elements are connected by metal plates and screws, the system is completely contained for items and plastic profiles.

One of the advantages of the material strength and endurance, supports impacts and heavy blows that make it a very safe system, the walls have more resistance to the coup even in comparison with elements of concrete or clay blocks.

Photo of Jack Huang
Team

Hi Oscar,

Great work! This is much more than an idea, it looks like a very viable remote housing solution.

I am a structural engineer base in Sydney with experience in light-weight steel housing and prefab solution. I would like to know more about the following if possible:

1. From the photos, the houses are supported on piers, what is the floor construction? joist+bearers or some type of composite panel?
2. Are there any fixing or bonding between the plastic bricks and the beams/columns?
3. Have you evaluated the wind uplift and racking capacity of the building system?
4. Is the roof framing consist of trusses or rafters?
5. what are the beam/column sizes?

Photo of Oscar Andres Mendez Gerardino
Team

Hello Jack, thanks for your interest

1. Not all cases are supported on stilts, this time is supported structural profile welded to a steel plate, but usually goes straight to a thin concrete slab.

2. There is no fastening element more than the overlap of the same elements that fit together

3. The system has structural studies and behavioral studies to earthquakes

4. Depends on the distance between columns and the length of the walls, we have some plastic profiles used as beams


5. The column is the same profile that is used as foundation beam and beam shot is 15 x 15cm and roof beam is 13.5 x 5.5cm

Photo of Jack Huang
Team

Thanks for the additional information Oscar.

What is the rough per lineal metre mass of the plastic beams and column? From my experience in the residential steel framing sector, cold-formed steel profiles will probably give you the best strength to weight ratio out of common building materials. light gauged beams for such application will weight roughly 5-8kg/lineal metre. It may be worthy to examine cold-formed steel as a possible source of support (roof beam, column, base etc) material for the recyclable house.

In addition, please consider adding roof gutters, downpipes and rainwater collection tank to the house to collect rain water. Water source is often scarce in under-developed areas.

Photo of Brock
Team

Hi Oscar,

Great idea. I know some living in slums make their living as "pickers" collecting plastic to sell. What are the implications for these people? I ask as I'm interested how affordable the end product is and what the expected costs of recycling are. Is this a viable solution for people earning less than US$2 a day?

Photo of Oscar Andres Mendez Gerardino
Team

Hello Brock, thanks for the comment.

In fact, the building system is obtained from the transformation of recycled plastic, plastics which generally have a difficult final disposition, for example compounds with aluminum or plastic packaging. It is possible to work on involve both people working in the collection as the manufacturers to subsidize the process, get a slimmer and lighter end product, reason for which less material for the same solution will be necessary, the cycle is closed , it helps the environment and social problem, then it is something we must do together.

Photo of Marc Adrian dela Rosa
Team

Hello Oscar!

Amazing idea you have here! Good to know that you're already implementing this in your country. I'm just wondering, can we put anything in between the plastic walls? Something like sand filters, for people in the slums to be able to collect and filter rain water.

Keep up the good work! :) I hope to hear more from this.

Photo of Oscar Andres Mendez Gerardino
Team

Hello Marc, We have some blocks designed with holes 1 inch to spend facilities, would have to consider how and the necessary dimensions for the implementation of your suggestion.

Photo of Helena Owusu Fordjour
Team

Thank you Oscar for the explanation.
would it be possible to contact you by email please?

Photo of Oscar Andres Mendez Gerardino
Team

Of course Yes, please fell free to contact me oscar.mendez@conceptosplasticos.com or mendezgerardino@gmail.com

Photo of Daniel Reyes
Team

This is a great innovative idea. Are there links/academic papers/specifications, to gain in depth knowledge of the structure itself? Does the plastic have to be a specific type or can most general recycled waste be used in the construction? What are the thermal capabilities of the structure, does is require further insulation and how much does this cost to produce a turn key product.

Overall, this is a great idea and I would like to see more information.

Photo of Oscar Andres Mendez Gerardino
Team

We can use mixed plastics, PP HDPE LDPE aluminum (packing), PS, HIPS, PC, ABS, This is thermal and acoustic, no insulation, this is a process and economically competitive system that seeks to have an environmental, social and economic impact.
we can send an e-mail with our english brochure, We also seek to make alliances and technology transfer to implement the proposed system manufacture in countries with housing deficit.
let us know your contact.

Photo of Daniel Reyes
Team

Thanks for writing back Oscar it is much appreciated. I would definitely like to receive your English brochure, it can be sent to the following email drey9924@usyd.edu.au. Will this brochure identify the fire rating level, how long will the structure remain structurally sound in the event of fire? Will it also answer how the structure is tied down?

Appreciate the time taken to answer the questions.

Photo of Oscar Andres Mendez Gerardino
Team

Hi Daniel, thank you for your interest

Attached the commercial brochure in English, about the structural behavior, we have engineering calculations based on laboratory tests regarding physical and mechanical behaviour.

We use fire retardant additives and some recycled plastics with flame-retardant fillers, these laboratory tests are in progress.

The system is completely enclosed by metal plates and structural bolts.
It is also important to mention that is designed to be self-supporting.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/dd1jzg1ihczy8lb/BrochureMailEng.pdf?dl=0

Photo of Simon Hart
Team

Laurent's idea is a good one... I am sure you have seen how green roofs work? Some have a sort of plastic space frame structure for holding the growing medium / compost in which the plants grow. Maybe you could make such a space frame out of the reycled pastic? This could be combined with some of the water saving methods described in other ideas here, as the green roof could hold quite a substantial volume of water, reducing the flooding effect into other parts of the drainage system, and also its thermal mass and insulative properties would help regulate hot/ cold periods well.

I also like the idea that these components will promote safer buildings - structurally sound and also more resilient to fire spread which I understand can be a great problem in some areas.

Let's see more components!

Photo of Oscar Andres Mendez Gerardino
Team

Yes Simon, It is a very good idea Laurent. will work on it.

Photo of Laurent Collet
Team

Really nice idea.

I was a bit surprised that the roof used on your constructions looks like corrugated iron. Do you think you can add a kind of vegetable roof, which may have a better isolation ?
If the weight is not too important, it may also be a possibility to have "personnal garden" for small food.

Photo of Oscar Andres Mendez Gerardino
Team

Hello Laurent, thank you for your contribution.

The structure supporting the tile is manufactured also in plastic and at this time is calculated to withstand tiles up to 1 ton, if the weight of a green garden exceeds 1 ton, can change by a metal structure that can provide the ability to have that personal garden.

Photo of Helena Owusu Fordjour
Team

I do like your idea Oscar, it's a model that could be used in developing countries.
I want to know how long can a building of this nature last and also how many floors can you use this system to build?

Photo of Oscar Andres Mendez Gerardino
Team

Hello Helena, thanks for your interest.

The time of construction of housing an average of 50m2 can take 5 days, it does not require skilled labor and is so simple it can be for self-construction.
Once armed housing, degradation time of over 200 years.
At the moment we are doing construction on one level, but if we make the metal structure can reach the 3 floors without problem.

Photo of Paul Fr
Team

Very clever idea ! It looks also visually interesting with the different shades of plastic in it ! What is roughly the composition of the blocks ?
Have a good day !

Photo of Oscar Andres Mendez Gerardino
Team

Hello Paul thanks for your comments.

The different shades are due to the inks we use recycled plastics. usually we do a mixture of polypropylene, high and low density polyethylene, high impact polystyrene, industrial waste plastic packaging and electronic waste.

Photo of Fernanda Pupe Colaço
Team

Hey Oscar,
very interesting idea. I would love to see that brochure! I was wondering, on average how much does a 50 squaredmeter house cost considering only your material (disregarding, pipes,etc) do you have an estimation? Hope it isn't very expensive because it looks like a great alternative for developing countries!

Photo of Oscar Andres Mendez Gerardino
Team

Hello Fernanda,

Attached the brochure in dropbox to meet the construction system. The average price for a solution of 50m2 is between 6000usd and 8000usd and used between 6 and 8 tons of recycled plastic, we are currently developing a thinner to further reduce the price system.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/dd1jzg1ihczy8lb/BrochureMailEng.pdf?dl=0

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congrats on this being today's Featured Contribution!

Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Thanks for the share Oscar! This is a very interesting way to fabricate affordable housing from recycled plastics. You mentioned that this process is currently being tested in Columbia - can you share a bit more about the prototype and the partners that are involved? Has this production method been tested in any other regions? It'd be great to update your idea post with more details so our global community may gain a deeper view of how this project. Adding links to examples of your work would be helpful.

Also, here's a friendly tip: update your OpenIDEO profile so folks will know who they're collaborating with. Think skills, experience, passions & wit. Looking forward to seeing more of you across conversations on this challenge!

Photo of Oscar Andres Mendez Gerardino
Team

Hello Shane,
We are initiating commercial product manufactured in Colombia, we have installed some houses here and we are currently installing 1100m2 of shelters for displaced people.
We have several awards from the government but we are a private company that has worked alone, but seek strategic alliances to promote the project and the solution we offer.
You can see the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33CdLjIr_uw
In two weeks you can see our web site www.conceptosplasticos.com