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Green Architecture –
Recycled construction material: High tech vs Low-tech
By Oliver Von der Weid

All around the world, people are trying to replace traditional building material by recycled products, in an effort to reduce the amount of garbage filling up our dumps. Let’s look at two very different examples and see if somewhere in-between we can be inspired to make some changes to our community as well.

  High Tech
The first one is a pavilion built for the World Expo that is taking place in Shanghai from May to October 2010. Over 200 countries are participating and everyone is using this platform to show the latest in technologies. And for all of these structures, architects and designers from all over the world are coming up with innovative, efficient and awe-inspiring ideas.
This building is designed by Atelier Feichang Jianzhu for all the corporation of Shanghai and,, instead of presenting their products, they decided to highlight their spirit of innovation and forward thinking.

The pavilion has its façade entirely composed of recycled plastic coming from old CD jewel cases. But they didn’t stop there and turned its sustainable features into the main attraction with exterior-altering LED light changing capabilities and a misting system which uses rain-collected water to cool the building as well as provide a surreal ambiance.
And they also took seriously in account the fact that the exposition last only some month. So at the end of the exposition all the plastic pieces can be reformatted by melting them down again and will be eventually re-used.

  Low Tech
The second example is an ecological house constructed in Honduras.

The concept promoted by Eco-Tec and several other ONG all through Latin-American and Africa, is to use PET bottles filled with earth instead of blocks. This Low-tech alternative allows you to build from houses and schools to even communal water holding tanks with no steel and very little cement involved.

And the structures are comparable to regular constructions for its durability and resistance. This is a great sustainable feature because you find all the material locally and the work of filling the bottles with dirt can be done by anyone with no qualification needed. This gives working opportunities to the community where these projects are done.

But most important, by using 8’000 PET bottles in the construction of a medium sized house, it freed up around 12 square meters (130 square feet) in the local landfill. Each PET bottle-brick is one less bottle burned or thrown into the river or sea.


But in both these high-tech and low-tech cases, the key point is the creativity of the designers who looked at the material that normally end up in our dumps and gave them a second life.

More Nature News

Organic Gardening in Nosara –
Why, what, and how to grow Organically

Transporting produce from the central valley is costly. The food is not fresh, and chemical fertilizers endanger health. As evidenced by the enthusiastic turnout at a potluck for organic gardeners open to all at no charge, many would like to grow and eat more organic food in Nosara. Why isn’t it happening? The gathering brought twenty gardeners together to share challenges and successes. More >

Nosara Wildlife Wants Your Home!

As anyone can guess, running a large organization to treat injured and/or orphaned wild animals and return them back into the wild, takes a lot of time, dedication,and....money.
Several local homeowners have decided to help support this effort by donating the commission on the sale of their home to Nosara Wildlife. Bill and Nancy Kanz and Dan Ray have both said that if Nosara Wildlife brings them a buyer, the commission on the sale will go directly to Nosara Wildlife!

This is a wonderful opportunity for the seller to help make a difference in the Nosara Community by supporting the efforts of Nosara Wildlife in addition to preserving its wildlife. We're looking for more home owners who are selling their homes (or lots!) to consider this program. After all, you will be getting more exposure for your home at no extra cost to you!

Please visit: www.nosarawildlife.com to see the Kanz' and "DRay's" homes. We'd love to include yours! Please contact Steve or Vicki Coan if you would like to join our program and help make a difference!

CONTACT: 2682.1474, 8866.4652, [email protected]


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