Glass House: A Work of Art Made from Recycled Material

Casa de vidro: Uma obra de arte feita à base de material reciclado

The glass house, located in the vicinity of the Macaneta Beach Resort in the Marracuene district, is a work of art that comes in response to the garbage that has been discarded in the environment.

After several years of intense work in projects related to the collection of garbage (glass) among other materials in various places of Maputo province, the idea of building a glass house was born, with the support of Norway.

When we came here with the support of Norway (?) we decided to make a pilot house integrated in the ecocentro," says Carlos Serra, environmental activist and responsible for the glass house, sitting on the balcony wall. ?a house that would make people change just by visiting and realize that glass is not waste, it is a resource and can be used for several purposes? explains the environmentalist.

And while we still don't have great industrial solutions for glass, we show that it can be used to make what you have here," he says, while "pulling us inside the house, giving us details of its construction and the material used. The house is type 2. That is, it has two bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen and a living room.

You see, so far we have used about 160,000 bottles for its construction," he begins by clarifying. Yes, ?glass is used in several components, that is, in foundations. Instead of using crushed stone we use broken glass and then we also apply ground glass that substitutes part of the sand? he explains in an interview with MZNews.

And, continues the environmentalist, ?from there we use glass as the block, but we can also make glass block, which is a product produced by us? he reveals to our report. The house has three models of walls from the most luminous to the least luminous.

The use of bottles is also done diversely. ?so this is the wall where people are amazed (?) it's the place where we find it most spiritual? he says referring to one of the walls in the room. We use a diversity of bottles, and usually they are even spirit bottles, and they are not uniform. We use a diversity of colors, shapes and weights. Everything comes in here," he explains. On this other wall," he says while pointing, "we see the base on the inside and the thinner part on the outside," he says, without neglecting the aspect of light. Yes, ?here we play with the light (?) you can see the effect of the light. It is the living room, and nowadays it can also be used as a reading room," he affirms.

Serra is not able to specify the exact amounts of money spent to build the house, but he confesses that it is much more affordable than a house that follows modern standards. ?this house can cost 30% of a normal house? In fact, in the construction of the house there is no need to use concrete and slabs. And yet it offers 100% of security.

It is totally resilient. It meets all the standards of resilience, even the beams and pillars are consolidated. The walls are totally strong? guarantees the environmentalist in conversation with our report. The furnishings are all made of recycled material. The house also has natural ventilation. The whole house is cool. It doesn't need air conditioning," reveals the environmentalist, justifying that this is due to the type of material used and the architecture.

 Sustainable project

Outside, the house has a gutter system for capturing rainwater. ?this now means that when it rains, we will capture the first waters?, he informs. We also made a well from which water can be collected.

But there are other projects that make up the glass house. Yes, we are already in a space here that is going to be cultural. This tree you see is going to be our air-conditioning system," he says, walking slowly towards the tree. It will be the shadow of a small amphitheater that will exist here," he points out with his hand already leaning against the tree.

We are going to have cultural sections here, environmental education, (?) the objective is also to combine culture and environment? he confides. We also want to create a certain sustainability of this place," he assures.

In terms of raw material the work of collection continues. Every day there is a work team dedicated to the collection of glass bottles, plastic, nets, among other types of ?garbage? But there is also a buying process. Yes, we buy what has value in the market, as well as what does not.

?in this case glass, and we are the only ones who give this value? he clarifies. In the process of collecting bottles there is also room for partnership with some polluting companies. Yes, for example, CDM helps us transform glass into solutions. Coca-Cola is the one that has been financing the Pet bottle collection operation?, he says.

In the medium to long term there will be construction projects similar to this one, or perhaps technically superior, but the environmentalist prefers not to give too many details. Yes, ?we will do something bigger in the future. As soon as the conditions are created, we will do in another place a larger undertaking developing this technique? he confides. And it will be with more innovation. One of the things we want to do in the future with regard to roofing is to introduce solar tiles as soon as they become available," he concludes.

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