Houses are usually built with the following materials: wood, cement, mortar, iron, steel, bamboo, straw, reed and stone, among all other things. But those who think outside the box source their home-building materials from unusual things, which come nothing short of amazing!
1. Shipping containers
First of all, shipping containers naturally have spaces — ideal to be inhabited. Second, they are structurally durable. Third, they can be connected to other containers. And fourth, they can be easily transported (by trucks or ships, for example) as they’re made to be. These are some of the reasons why shipping containers have become a popular choice as alternative housing materials in recent years.
About 290 million tires are discarded each year. What could be a better way to give them a “second life” than using them as a building material? Being tough, tires are good to build houses or any other forms of structure. Of course, they cannot be used on their own as they need other materials (like mortar or cement) to make them more stable.
Being made of rubber, tires are excellent materials to keep a house warm or cool, depending on the type of house being built.
3. Plastic bottles
The importance of recycling has been stressed much more nowadays amid concerns regarding massive pollution, global warming, and a growing scarcity of natural resources.
For several years, plastic bottles have been popularly used as alternatives to traditional housing materials. They’re a good source of drawing out heat or coolness to the space depending on the climate or as desired by the homeowner, since sealed bottles contain air which in turn acts as a good insulator. Given their low biodegradation, plastic bottles are guaranteed to make durable and long-lasting walls for your homes. Plastic bottles are ideal not just for making houses, but also for building vessels such as rafts or boats due to their tendency to float.
Most under-developed nations use alternative housing materials, such as plastic bottles, to build their own homes mainly because they come cheap, are plentiful and are readily available.
4. Corn cob
One famous example of a dwelling using corn cob as materials is a prototype home in Muttersholtz, France. The house was basically built with a wooden frame and the rest were dried corn cobs. It took 7,000 euros and a month to build this circular abode. The purpose of this one-time building project was to promote and encourage building structures using completely renewable materials.
The world wastes millions and millions of tons of newspapers every year, so some individuals and entities have wisely thought up of recycling them into housing materials. Newspapers are rolled up, glued together and are converted into something that is quite similar to the regular wood that you usually source to build your home. Use them in the manner that you use regular plywoods. If you think about a newspaper home collapsing into a pulp or getting burned, don’t fret because the newspaper “wood” is varnished and protected with a water-proof and fire-retardant seal.
6. Plastic bags
Plastic bags are notorious for being non-biodegradable and almost impossibly recyclable. However, some individuals had an idea of making bricks out of plastic bags. These bags were melted, poured in some sort of a mold where they were shaped into blocks. While plastic bag “bricks” are too lightweight to be built as regular walls, they are otherwise more ideal as indoor or outdoor dividers.