Friendship Bottles

A rethinking and redesign of the humble water bottle that gives the container a much higher purpose and longer life as a modular building component for post-disaster housing and longer term utility after local economic recovery

What inspired you to make this project?:
Powerful hurricanes and earthquakes have wreaked havoc in the United States and around the world in recent years, often leaving people stranded for months and even years without access to water, food, and shelter. A unique collaborative project at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute & CASE in NYC - with Friendship Bottles - seeks to provide a sustainable solution, while also considering the environment.

After a disaster strikes, first responders and other aid organizations mobilize to send needed supplies such as water, food, and medicine. Bottled water is sent by the tons, but all too often, the empty plastic bottles end up in the trash stream.

The goal of the project is to re-use the empty bottles to create both initial temporary disaster relief housing as the bottle contents are consumed, and then for longer term reconstruction the modular units can be further transformed into greenhouses, chicken and other animal shelters or houses, and thinking even further down the road the bottles can be filled with concrete, or even just sand or gravel or clay and become incredibly strong and just about permanent structural elements.

Project Website
Categories: Sustainability & Nature, Art & Design, Engineering, Fabrication, Home
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