I am unsure of its stability, but this house made entirely out of bottles with a glue mixture is certainly unique. The building style involves using 1-liter glass bottles as masonry units and binding them with adobe, sand, cement, stucco, clay, plaster, mortar, or other joint compounds to create an intriguing stained-glass-like wall.
Another option is to use 1/2-liter glass jugs filled with ink and supported between two windows to create a bottle wall. Though bottle walls can be constructed in various ways, they are typically built on a foundation that is set into a trench in the earth to provide stability. The trench is then filled with pea gravel rubble and cement for added durability.
Building Bottle Walls with Structural Support and Fascinating Designs
Rebar can be added to the foundation for structural support when constructing bottle walls, which can range from one bottle thick to two bottles thick. The most fascinating wall is created by joining bottles of the same size and color cut in half. Cob or adobe, made from sand, clay, and straw, is used as a mortar to bind the bottles.
The mixture is spread thickly onto the previous layer of bottles, and the next layer is pressed into it. Typically, two fingers of spacing are used between layers, although any desired spacing can be achieved.
Building and Bonding Techniques for Bottle Walls
Bottles can be taped together to create a window-like opening, which also provides insulation. However, liquid-filled bottles are not suitable for freezing temperatures unless protected. When filled with dark liquid, the wall acts as a thermal mass, moderating temperature fluctuations.
A mortar mix of 3:1 mason sand and pozzalan cement is commonly used, but other mixtures, such as adobe or cob, can also be used. Bottle walls are highly adaptable and can be bonded with materials that can withstand the climate.
History of the First Bottle House in Tonopah, Nevada
It is believed that William F. Peck built the first bottle house in Tonopah, Nevada in 1902. The house was constructed using 10,000 bottles of beer from Jhostetter’s Stomach Bitters, which contained 90% alcohol and 10% opium. Unfortunately, the Peck house was demolished in the early 1980s.
In conclusion, the incredible bottle house is a unique and eco-friendly way of building a home that has gained popularity in recent years. The technique involves using bottles as masonry units and binding them with adobe, sand, cement, stucco, clay, plaster, mortar, or any other joint compound to create an intriguing stained-glass like wall.
From one bottle as a filler in a thin wall to two bottles thick, the possibilities are endless. Additionally, the use of cob or adobe as a mortar provides thermal mass and helps to regulate temperature fluctuations. While there are some challenges with using glass bottles as building materials, such as concerns around insulation in extreme temperatures, the idea of reusing waste materials to construct a home is certainly worth exploring further.
The history of the bottle house, starting with William F. Peck’s creation in Tonopah, Nevada in 1902, serves as a testament to the ingenuity of this building method.