A plastic bottle design that can be attached to each other has become a revolution in disaster relief. Called friendship bottles, they have been used to build small dining huts that can also withstand Category 2 storm winds.
Among the most common resources shipped on pallets to disaster-affected areas is water. If that water were to make it to Friendship Bottles, those whose homes were destroyed could use it to create a temporary shelter.
This function of use as sustenance-refuge is a no-brainer, according to the inventor of the Friendship bottle Tim Carlson.
Carlson had been developing the bottle design for a decade before COVID-19 hit his home state of New York. But when he saw all the makeshift outdoor seating arrangements heading into the pandemic-hit city, he realized it was the perfect opportunity to test his design.
As well as being quite an amazing atmosphere to sit inside, because they acted as a great prism to the passing cars, the cubicles weathered the storms that recently ripped through the Big Apple, demonstrating the concept as a disaster-ready building material.
Through a partnership with the Center for Architecture and Ecology Sciences, the Friendship Bottles are being compared to other shelters used by the Red Cross and Red Crescent, including the scenarios and logistics of relief efforts in disaster events that could be used as water delivery containers and later as construction material.
Elsewhere, plastic bottles are also becoming homes and shelters that are proving to be bulletproof and earthquake resistant. in nigeria, where they are filled with sand and pressed with readily available mud.
Friendship Bottles require no mortar or wire of any kind, offering a different kind of solution.
One thing the Friendship team believes it has the advantage of is that there are far fewer limits on what can be assembled with the bottles after emptying them.
Instead of a ready-made shelter with instructions, the bottles can be turned into bricks, which can then be turned into anything.
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