Construction of the first Tetra Pak® house.

On August, saturday 7th, we finished the construction of the first Tetra Pak® house at the land field, part of the “Sanitary risk reduction” program undertaken by SiKanda in collaboration with the Blaise Pascal Institute.

The Institute implemented the project ''Techamos una mano" that gives the opportunity to their students to complete their social service. The house was completed in 1 week and has been the opportunity for all the participants (SiKanda, the pepenadores, volunteers) to familiarize themselves with the techniques to build a house with Tetra Pak®. The scope of this activity is to give the pepenadores the knowledge to start building the next 11 houses by themselves.

 

The house has been built for Don Andres, an elder man of 86 years old, who has been working and living at the land field for more than 20 years. Because of his physical handicaps and his advanced age, he cannot collect enough material to sell and support himself. His living condition is very hard due to his lack of adequate housing (just a shelter made from plastic and aluminum sheets) and lack of a proper place to cook and to put his personal belongings. For this reason, he is exposed to the harshness of the weather. Don Andres cannot count on many family members because they live far and cannot visit him frequently. However, he can count on the support of the pepenador community that has helped him to clear out the piece of land where the house will be erected, and with the construction of it.

 

The process of building this house involves construction techniques that utilize recyclable materials for the walls. These walls are composed of a prefabricated wood frame covered between two layers of Tetra Pak® and filled with PET (crushed plastic bottles). After that, the walls get covered with a plaster, which allows it to have similar characteristics to the ones of a structure made from concrete, from the floor all the way to the ceiling.

 

This project involves an innovative way to reuse recyclable materials while giving Don Andres a worthy and decent home.