7 Elements constructs Bottle Houses as part of most every community intervention. Bottle houses replace structures often made of zinc roofs and palm leaves and wood. When these building materials are used, houses are often extremely hot in the summer months and poorly insulated in the winter months. The dirt floors harbor disease and cause respiratory illness and become wet and structurally unsound when it rains.
7e Bottle Houses use a wooden frame on top of a cement foundation. The walls are constructed using chicken wire and recycled bottles. An average bottle house uses about 12,000 bottles, saving all of this plastic from entering the environment. The bottles also act as insulation in the walls. Volunteers can engage in all steps of the building process including tacking up the chicken wire to the wooden frame, placing the bottles in the walls, mixing cement, and the painting of the house making bottle houses one of the more diverse projects 7 Elements participates in. Once the cement is dry and the walls are structurally sound, the interior of the house will be approximately 8 degrees cooler on the inside than the sweltering temperatures outside. All the bottle houses also are built with cement floors, creating a cleaner and safer environment for its inhabitants. Additionally, western toilets with septic tanks are also installed in some of these homes making for more environmentally friendly and safer waste disposal.