Heineken World Bottle: Beer to Bricks!

Heineken wobo glass bottle to brick sustainable concept

Sweet goodness! What a great idea. Manufacturing Beer bottles to convert to brick structures for later use. This reminds me of the POM bottles that can be used as regular glass cups for home use. Why can’t this come back to reality! The amount of bottles tossed each year is absurd. Makes me want to ask photographer Chris Jordan to make a visual map of it for his “Running Numbers” series! (Did ya know in the USA alone we go through 106,000 aluminum cans every 30 seconds! It’s absurd!) There’s also the “66 Beer Bottle= a cheap solar water heater” direction.

Upcycling is a 21st century term, coined by Cradle to Cradle authors William McDonough and Michael Braungart, but the idea of turning waste into useful products came to life brilliantly in 1963 with the Heineken WOBO (world bottle). Envisioned by beer brewer Alfred Heineken and designed by Dutch architect John Habraken, the “brick that holds beer” was ahead of its ecodesign time, letting beer lovers and builders alike drink and design all in one sitting.

Mr. Heineken’s idea came after a visit to the Caribbean where he saw two problems: beaches littered with bottles and a lack of affordable building materials. The WOBO became his vision to solve both the recycling and housing challenges that he had witnessed on the islands.”

I want I want!!! It’s like buying Lego’s with your beer bottle as an adult! or you can just reuse what you have laying around much like the students at Western Washington University.(their show is in Seattle today, Nov 10th, 5-7pm)

via inhabitat

27 Responses to “Heineken World Bottle: Beer to Bricks!”

  1. Marston A, SugarStats Says:

    Hah, that is awesome! A great idea indeed. Even though I’ve been in Holland for 3 years, this is the first time I’ve seen that.

  2. Ryan Says:

    hmmm…. house of glass+hurricanes+debris=?

  3. tango! Says:

    ahhaa,,,we’ll i guess this idea is not well situated for the hurricane prone locations…otherwise, I think beer companies should reconsider this concept. Every bar would have enough glass bricks to build a needed house weekly.

  4. Aaron Says:

    Well, if you fill ’em with sand or dirt they should be much tougher…probably unlikely to break en masse in a hurricane.

  5. Carrie Says:

    You know what they say about people in glass houses…

  6. shandooga Says:

    filling them with anything woud make them very much more heavy. Those on the bottom would break.

  7. axamermaid Says:

    I’ve held many a thousand Heineken bottles down here in the Caribbean and contemplated how to make a wall with the empties however, having been through two hurricanes, trust me, that is a lot of broken glass just waiting to happen. It would, however, certainly mean that anyone who had not seen the green flash could stand behind the wall and watch the sunset…still thinking – and drinking…

  8. Ryon Says:

    While they may be heavier if you fill them with sand, you’ve also suddenly turned an empty, slightly fragile bottle into a rigid sand bag. I wouldn’t be too worried about flying debris when you’re using one of the oldest defenses against rifle fire known to man. The ones on the bottom wouldn’t break because the sand would act like a fluid and disperse the weight of the bottles above equally in all directions. After all, glass is nothing but melted sand.

    This is a fascinating idea. There’s really no reason that square bottles shouldn’t have caught on every where.

  9. subcorpus Says:

    filling them will NOT make them break …
    i’ve seen bottles been used in walls … some walls are like 60 years old … they still intact …

  10. matt Says:

    Erm… Would it not get stupidly hot in there in the summer if they are used for external walls? Internal fine, i have seen that done before.

  11. T Furiel Says:

    I like beer!

  12. josh Says:

    what CMU’s have that the bottle’s lack is voids. Voids to put rebar through. Voids to fill with cement. The voids are what allow CMUs to be strong.

    If the bottle had voids a wall made of it could have reinforcing running verticallly. The section of the botttle would look something like a figure 8. Maybe that’s a difficult thing to cast.

  13. simeon Says:

    matt Says:
    Erm… Would it not get stupidly hot in there in the summer if they are used for external walls? Internal fine, i have seen that done before.

    you presumably do not live in the UK 😉 for which you can be most grateful…
    i’d gladly tolerate the odd hot-ish day (when i’d be in a beer garden outside anyway) in return for being able to squeeze a lux or 2 more sunlight into my house the remaining 99% of the year.

    not sure i’d make an entire house out of it, but could make a cool house extension. wonder what the planning permission situation would be…

    maybe you could have internal blinds anyway?

  14. owlathome Says:

    I’d like to know what a hurricane (or good breeze) would sound like blowing over all those empty bottles. Best fill them with sand.

  15. Rees Ikeler Says:

    …gives new meaning to the old song “99 bottles of beer on the wall” ! Did somebody already say that?! If they didn’t, you know they thought it! And how many visitors to your new bottle-abode will spontaneously break into the obnoxious ditty?! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!

  16. Michael Says:

    “You know what they say about people in glass houses…”

    They’re alcoholics?

  17. Stephen Bradley Says:

    I have been bending people’s ears for more than decade about converting 2 liter soda bottles into this shape and filling them with expanding urethane foam. These could then be used for Habitat for Humanity homes. Any town (mine is 33,000) could generate thousands of 2 liter bottles a month with ease that now go in the land fill. I never thought about a hole for rebar, though. You perhaps shape the bottom where the neck of the next bottle enters so that pairs of 1/4″ rebar could be placed.

  18. Virtua Says:

    Oooo… Heineke.
    I thought we were talking about beer


  19. d2 Says:

    well Ryan, maybe you will be suprised but not all of us live in the USA, Im 36 and never expirienced hurricane in my life.

  20. Bob the Builder Says:

    Best leave this sort of talk to the professionals, we know best.

  21. Manneken Pis Says:

    don’t drink this f*cking dutch poison.
    buy belgian beer- better for your health

  22. Mike Sabo Says:

    Fill them with Water like they do in Australia ~~Retains the heat for night. Might be way to get solar energy from this method too. Make the walls non retaining ~~use for garden walls planters etc~~ Starting to make glass grave markers in Seattle. I think the time is right to rethink this whole idea.

  23. Don Says:

    As far as the rebar goes, just form pilaster columns of concrete every 8′ and use a concrete tiebeam, then in-fill the open spaces with the glass bottles. This is similar to how its done with CMU in commercial applications in Florida. Use spray foam inside the bottles for insulation and strength.

  24. Keith Says:

    I better start drinking a lot more if I want that glass house to be done on time.

  25. DesignVerb! – Designverb post 1001 Says:

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