Using local waste plastic, to create simple stack-able building blocks, to facilitate self built affordable housing.

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Mexico City, like cities in most developing countries has seen a sharp increase in its urban population. With an estimated 70% of the world’s population living in cities by 2050, the demand for affordable housing will increase as well. More houses, means more material needed for construction, increasing the carbon footprint of Mexico. Through this project, we propose to integrate the local economies of waste recycling and the informal housing industry into a decentralized circular economy system to solve the affordable housing crisis and cleaning up our environment. For this purpose, we have designed a set of building elements using waste plastic and fly ash which can be produced locally through injection molding, to empower communities to build their own houses, making housing construction simpler, cheaper, faster and most importantly more sustainable.

The building blocks are designed to be a simple stack-able technique of construction, with a self-locking design, like blocks of Lego. The bricks are 3 times more insulating than a clay brick and can easily withstand the temperatures in Mexico. To make the bricks fire resistant and to improve its compression strength, the molten plastic is mixed with an Eco-friendly filler (also an industrial waste). This method of construction could potentially help reduce the construction costs by almost 60%. A 55m2 house can be completely constructed by a family of four adults within 3 weeks, while also recycling 2-3 tons of plastic waste. This project directly tackles 3 of the 17 UN Development Goals.

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