Buildings built from glass bottles (Thai Temple example).

Is building structures out of bottles a good idea from a safety and longevity standpoint? I’d think everytime somebody dropped something on the floor or a ladder slipped and banged a wall or furniture hit the wall you’d have glass to repair or cover over. No?

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/10/temple-built-from-beer-bottles.php

See link below the article for more examples. The idea of the “world bottle” (beer bottles designed in brick shape) is pretty cute. :slight_smile:

I have an aunt who built a stable for her horses this way. It’s pretty robust; I don’t think she’s had to make any repairs on it.

Heineken briefly sold their beer in squarish bottles that were intended to be used for building. I saw this on the brewery tour in Amsterdam; I thought it looked great and wish they’d do it again!

Oh, duh, there’s a link right there in the OP–they never really sold them but I still think it’s a great idea.

I wouldn’t recommend it in seismic areas…

Otherwise glass is very stable and wear resistant, impervious to water, heat, cold, fungi or lichens that can even eat concrete away, pollution, etc etc. So a well built building should last for a good while.

Glass bottles are pretty strong, so I doubt casual knocks and bangs against the wall would break them. The buildings I’ve seen built this way have the bottles embedded in mortar, so only the ends of the bottles are exposed. The base of a beer bottle is pretty thick glass, and I think you’d struggle to break it without really trying.

Irregular bottles can cause a lot of problems on the bottling line.For example: A. Le Coq, a Estonian brewer, brew a beer in a lighthouse shaped bottle (pic).
The uniquely shaped bottle has the tendency to climb on top of each other and fall of the line.

Bricks are better than glass bottles as structural components but bottles full of water have been used inside walls to provide thermal mass.

Are the bottles empty or are they filled with mortar as well?

Wow - I want to build a wall of bottles in my backyard. I’m off to the liquor store. Be right back.

Usually empty whenever I’ve seen them used - filling them would need almost as much mortar as building the entire wall from cement!

Need any help with that? :wink:

I’ll bet you could do it if you used a rubbery-foam insulation sort of gunk as the mortar (provided it didn’t deteriorate in sunlight).

Sure - come on over to Chicago. Play a tiny violin for me because I have to lay off the kegerator and start buying bottles if I am going to do this in the spring.

I just need to find a decent DIY guide to building the damned thing. Also - do I go with multi-colored/sized bottles, or uniform?

The only wall I’ve ever built outside was a non-mortared flagstone wall (2 years ago) to help enclose a chiminea seating area/flagstone patio in my yard.

That’s an aesthetic decision, not an engineering one. Myself, I’d make some sort of simple pattern and mosaic it in with two or more colors of bottles.

And the bottles are generally empty: The airspace provides for insulation.

Isn’t there a "bottle house’ in the nevada desert? it survived the A-bomb tests of the 1950’s.

What does that mean? Water retains heat from sunlight better than bricks?

Water in the bottles would add mass. This large mass would absorb heat during the day, and give it off during the night, thus regulating the temperature.

I don’t know about that one, but there is the “famous” Bottle House in Rhyolite, Nevada. It was suffering pretty badly because of the blasting from a nearby gold mine operation. They restored it in the mid-90’s, now it looks almost new. I sort of like the old, falling apart version better.

Water has the highest specific heat of pretty much any common material, which means that it takes more heat to change its temperature by a given amount. So it’ll absorb more heat from the sun during the day, and release more heat at night, than other materials such as bricks.

There’s one in Boswell, BC that you can tour in the summer. It’s made of sixty-one thousand, 16 ounce glass embalming fluid bottles.

http://blog.findaproperty.com/architecture-design/house-embalming-fluid-bottles/