Building Homes from Outdated Bottles

Building Homes Outdated Bottles

After taking the bus towards Dakshinkali from the old bus park, after 45 minutes you will come to a place called Khahare.  And there lies Nepal's first bottle house. Bottle house? Yes- bottle house- constructed and preserved by the Kevin Rohan Memorial Eco Foundation. It may seem strange to find such a one-of-a-kind environmental project here in Nepal. Building homes with outdated bottles is the blog that teaches recycling and saving the environment.

KRMEF was founded in 2008 to create a healthy and sustainable environment by using many eco-friendly practices for the well being of local communities.  The foundation's goal is to implement eco-friendly programs to encourage sustainable community development.

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The bottle house, also known as a 'poor man's dignified house', was founded in 2010 to solve Nepal's outdated and environmentally unfriendly buildings. It is an ecologically friendly home designed and built using materials and technology that reduces its carbon footprint and lowers its energy needs. The bottle house uses building methods that are environmentally responsible and resourceful throughout the building's entire life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and destruction. In other words, bottle house design involves finding the balance between homebuilding and sustainability. The bottle house practice expands and complements classic building designs regarding economy, utility, durability, and comfort.

The unused and degradable glass bottles from embassies and restaurants in Kathmandu make the bottle house look beautiful. The bottle walls can be constructed in different ways; typically, they are made on a foundation set into a channel in the earth to add stability to the wall. Rebar can be placed into the foundation to add structural integrity. Bottle walls range from one bottle to two bottles thick. A primitive mixture, such as a cob, can be used as a workable paste to bind the bottles.

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The bottle house is inexpensive to build, as the materials are cheap and easy to collect.  Besides helping to aid Nepal in its pollution problems, bottle houses can play an essential role for poor people who cannot make their own houses. If a person has even a tiny piece of land, they can build their own home simply by digging in their field. The cost of bricks is high here in Nepal, so buying bottles is still a better option if someone is hesitant to collect bottles from the street.

The bottle house is environmentally friendly and socially responsible, helping our people and our land, apart from the sustainable resources used to make these eco-friendly houses. The heating and cooling system in the home creates a balancing temperature, and the ventilation system provides clean and fresh air – obviously healthy and environmentally friendly.

The country of Nepal has the blessing of massive and diverse resources, and every region has its speciality. The northern area has some of the highest peaks in the world. On the other hand, the southern area has the blessings of huge flatlands.  People have been producing quality wheat, jute, maize, and many other products in this land. There lies a middle area that is hilly with many of its natural resources. Unfortunately, as we all know, natural resources are depleting at an alarming rate here in Nepal.

We & Scarce Resources

To solve this problem, the people of Nepal need to know the importance of our scarce resources, and they also need awareness. Luckily, the situation is improving in many ways, as many Nepalese have already begun to adapt environmental strategies and have "gone green".

With more and more industrialization in Nepal, it is crucial that our people "go green" to balance the scale of toxic fumes and chemicals that these industries produce.  It is about time we take charge and keep our environment healthy, and it will be better for us and better for the whole world.

Since it began its work, the Kevin Rohan Memorial Eco Foundation has helped to inspire dozens of bottle houses here in Nepal. Many like it across the country, starting as a single bottle house here on the foundation's land. Currently, volunteers and interns come from worldwide to stay at the foundation and help construct these houses. For example, the foundation used the bottle building technique to build a community library for the local people of Khahare and their Ankuran Waldorf-inspired kindergarten building. The foundation also helped the people of Pharping, 10km away from the foundation, to build a farmer's school.


KRMEF has many other sustainable projects, including producing alternative energy sources and a women's jewellery workshop on sustainable soapnuts.  For the last few years, many have become aware that eco-friendly houses are pretty crucial for our environment.  However, many people are still not aware of the benefits of eco-friendly buildings such as bottle houses.  Therefore, KRMEF is working to spread the word and raise awareness about how eco-friendly homes such as the bottle house can be beneficial and help our

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Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash