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Houses Built with Reclaimed Materials

In a world of mass-marketed mayhem, it isn’t necessary to succumb to consumerism, even during residential construction. That attitude is exactly what fuels some designers who have a keen eye for practicality and a clear conceptualization of reuse.

By taking original ideas of recycling and tunneling them to the advantage of others, real differences can be made in helping obtain basic needs, like housing.

House made of bottles

Image source: designtaxi.com

Ingrid Vaca Diez has found architectural genius in a plastic bottle. Or actually, in many bottles.

Able to find large quantities of plastic bottles in Bolivia where she resides, the practical idea surfaced to use them to make houses for those in need. Construction materials are expensive and inaccessible by many in her area, so by going outside of the usual way homes are manufactured she was able to reinvent a new use for the normally discarded containers.

The recycled bottles are filled with dirt and assembled into durable structures, and she has made almost a dozen homes that are surely appreciated by the inhabitants. Though plastics intended to be tossed may not be an ideal product to use for a home, by taking what is available and putting it to use in a realistic way benefits those who otherwise may not have affordable, safe shelter.

Dan Phillips has been building homes from reclaimed materials for decades. Incorporated in his designs are everything from reusable lumber, license plates, broken tiles and any object that can be repurposed or re-assembled. His transformed pieces come together in ways that make sense, and lends to a durable functionality.

The Recycled Houses

Image source: nytimes.com

He created The Phoenix Commotion, which is a local project in Texas that takes recycled objects that are collected or donated as construction materials and uses them to build houses.

Using already existing products he is able to turn them into beautiful, livable spaces that are made from nearly all recycled materials. Enlisting help from community volunteers as well as the homeowners, the houses are team built to meet building code regulations and then sold at attainable prices to applicable lower income families.

Aside from the crafty repurposing and affordability, the structures have the additional bonus of uniquely standing out as stunning art forms that can be lived in. For a photo gallery of his remarkably built wonders, check out The Recycled Houses provided by The New York Times Home and Garden section.

In an ideal world, there would not be so much garbage readily available that you could construct entire homes with them. Luckily, there are those who take what circumstances provide and do better with them.

We can learn something from visionaries who take recycling to new grounds with a sense for reuse and a drive for spreading goodwill.

charleston house

Image source: phoenixcommotion.com

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