Green Beer Bricks

October 18, 2007

Love it! How ingenious, a beer bottle which, when empty, can be used as a building device. Envisioned by famed beer brewer Alfred Heineken and designed by Dutch architect John Habraken, the brick that holds beer was ahead of its time. Marketed to areas in the world short on building materials but not of beer, the Heineken beer bricks could be collected and used to build walls, instead of tossed. They’re green in more ways than one.

The bottle was designed to be interlocking, laid horizontally and bonded with cement mortar with a silicon additive. A 10 ft x 10 ft shack would take approximately 1,000 bottles to build. In 1963, 100,000 WOBO’s were produced in two sizes, 350 and 500 mm. This size difference was necessary in order to bond the bottles when building a wall, in the same way as a half brick is necessary when building with bricks. Unfortunately most of them have been destroyed and few bottles are left. They are very rare and become a collectors item.

It’s surprising this hasn’t been tried again today. It’s a great idea. Like the POM glasses which can be used as real drinking glasses instead of tossed.

Via www.apartmenttherapy.com

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