Building houses of 100% recycled plastic

Norwegian start-up Othalo developed technology to produce building elements made from 100% recycled plastic and teamed up with UN Habitat to build millions of low-cost houses.

The goal of the partnership is to use one of the world’s most pressing problems, plastic pollution, to solve another, namely the shortage of quality affordable housing.

Nearly one billion people live in slums, and in Sub Saharan Africa alone, the need for low-cost housing is 160 million units and is expected to increase to 360 million by 2050 as a result of rapid urbanization.

Othalo developed a patent pending technology to manufacture building systems using recycled plastic waste. Their target market is affordable housing, refugee shelters, and camps for disaster and emergency situations. They worked in partnership with experts in SINTEF and University in Tromsø.

For a 60m2 house, Othalo recycles 8 tonnes of plastic waste. With today’s amount of plastic waste, 1 billion houses can be built. The aim is to use local raw materials and create jobs in the process.

Over the next 18 months, Othalo will develop its first series of building elements and designs for low-cost homes. They expect to be ready to start mass production as soon as the pilots are approved.

Images: Othalo