The first house built with PET bricks was inaugurated in Mendoza

CONICET researchers trained personnel to produce this technology from recycled plastic

House built with PET bricks. Photo: courtesy Municipalidad de Junín.

In June, 2016 the Centro Experimental de la Vivienda Económica (CEVE) [Experimental Center for the Economical Dwelling], which is under the scope of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) and the Asociación de Vivienda Económica (AVE), provided training on the technology used to produce the bricks made of recycled plastics in Junín de Mendoza. It was part of the Program Junín Punto Limpio, which began in 2012 and its aim has been to recover plastic containers to be later recycled.

The training was carried out in two phases: the first one took place at the CEVE and was an explanation on the product and the process transferred to the technology. Besides, it involved a demonstration on how the construction elements must be placed. The second phase was developed at Junín Punto Limpio site where experts examined the existing facilities and provided advice on the development of production.

“During the subsequent months, a group of people of this municipality produced the amount of bricks necessary to build a house, which was destined to a poor family with a disabled member”, Rosana Gaggino, independent researcher at the CONICET,  CEVE’s deputy director and head of the research team made up of researchers Jerónimo Kreiker and Lucas Peisino, fellow Julián González Laría and technicians Luisa Sosa and Ricardo Arguello.

The house, which belongs to El Vivero Cooperative, was inaugurated on February 25th and is in El Martillo, in Medrano. It covers 56 m2 and contains a dining room, two bedrooms, a toilette, solar water heater, electric light and drinkable water. This cooperative consists of fifty rural families and is currently working to build more dwellings with PET bricks, which are adaptable to the local geography, climate and seismology. In the future, CEVE researchers are going to visit the municipality so as to control the quality of the construction components.

The CEVE is a Research and Development Center located in the city of Córdoba. Its mission is to study, experiment and transfer construction and comprehensive management technologies destined to the social production of the habitat. Within that field, this center is devoted to the research and development of demonstrative actions to be transferred to institutions and agencies of public and private sectors linked to the topic. As part of this implementation unit, the Programa de Nuevos Materiales develops technologies to make a good use of urban and industrial waste, which are recycled for the production of construction components technically suitable to be used in civil constructions.

As regards that, Jerónimo Kreiker, CONICET researcher and responsible of transfer, explains: “The Center provides advice for public and private institutions and companies through Servicios Técnicos de Alto Nivel (STAN) [High level Technical Services] or specific agreements to develop sustainable technologies for the treatment of waste. For this reason, the training on PET recycling technology was conducted in different municipalities, NGOs, cooperatives, firms and entrepreneurs from different parts of the country.”

It is worth mentioning that these bricks are more ecological apart from the fact that they have more thermal insulation. Besides, they are lighter than the traditional ones. This technology was patented by CONICET in 2008 and has a Certificate of Technical Competence given by the Subsecretaría de Desarrollo Urbano y Vivienda, under the scope of the Ministerio del Interior, Obras Públicas y Vivienda.