If there’s one thing I know about the Mexican people it’s that they’re great of making something out of nothing. I’ve personally seen some really cool ways for people here to recycle to plastics they use so while a lot of trash is produced here, a lot of it is repurposed.
Earthquake Resistant Houses
A Mexican engineer has taken this to a whole new even luxury level by building plastic homes made from recycled plastic. A incredible bonus of this building technique is that it’s resistant to seismic movement something extremely important here in Mexico where earthquakes are common. In a place like Mexico City (which has experienced extreme devastation directly related to earthquakes) this could be huge as the flexible material will create earthquake resistant houses that are less prone to collapse, resulting in less deaths due to natural disasters.
Ramón Martín Espinosa Solís who graduated from the University of Guadalajara is the one to develop this method of building earthquake resistant houses. He has a company and website called Ecoplastico Ambiental. It boasts not only smart and safe design but beautiful luxury in Mexico where living situations can sometimes be a bit rough.
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Due to the technology the house requires little to no maintenance because it is highly resistant to corrosion, mold and the regular things that plague houses. There’s no need for air conditioning or heating either. It gives people a high quality of life for the cost, which can be as much as 50% less than building a conventional house because you’re using recycled materials.
It’s an ultra resistant material increasing the life of the house by 30-50 years. A typical plastic house will last at least 100 years but a conventional house will only last between 50-70 years without needing major repairs.
It’s made from panels that are specially made for the purpose. They are 20 cm by 40 cm and between 10-13 mm thick. He makes them by grinding up the plastic, combining it in a special method without water and baking it in an oven for a set amount of time at 220 degrees Celsius. These are the building blocks that he starts from. Then he adds luxury details like solar power, beautiful interior to make it not only a highly functional home but one you actually want to live in. They also make furniture to fill the house with, that clearly shows the interesting recycled nature of the panels!
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I’m always impressed by the ingenuity of the people here in Mexico. I’ve seen incredible creativity when it comes to recycling and also with building. Many people still build with adobe which is pretty similar to cob. The lack of regulations here makes it a lot easier for people to get really creative and make good solutions that work, I doubt something like this would be legal in the United States!