‘It doesn’t smell, it’s not a garbage house’ – upcycled plastic house for $5.7M


The 2022 International Building Expo promises to introduce new building technology and innovation and it is poised to do just that when the three-day event opens on Friday.

One of the highlights is the introduction of an environmentally friendly low-income house made from 100 per cent recycled plastic.

A local company – South Atlantic – has partnered with a company out of Colombia – Caña Dulce – to bring the technology and engineers to Guyana to construct these houses amid a local construction and housing boom.

The government has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the company that will be setting up its facility here following the expo, transforming trash into building materials.

Owner of South Atlantic, Alfonso De Armas, spoke to the News Room on Monday, explaining his ‘Verde by South Atlantic’ project and said that the houses are not garbage houses and neither does they smell or release toxins.

“It is not garbage, it looks close to concrete but it’s harder, it is sturdier and it is fireproof.

“You don’t have to worry about wood ants,” he said.

Additionally, assembly time is said to be between seven to 10 days and a standard 600-square-foot house can be sold for roughly $5.7 million.

“It is quick, it is flexible… you can add on and put off according to what you want.”

The houses carry a stone finish but De Armas says it can have troweltex textured or paint finish which Guyanese are accustomed to.

“It is light, it is durable.

Alphonso De Armas

“I see some people saying they don’t want to live in a garbage house or it might cause them to get cancer but this goes through an industrial process just like cement does.

“It doesn’t smell, it doesn’t release any toxic fumes… it is made from materials we use every day. There are other materials we use in construction like PVC which is a lot more toxic,” De Armas added.

The News Room understands that one house uses up to three tons of plastic.

Currently, it is being imported but plants are afoot to set up a facility here to use local plastic waste to make the materials needed.

The company is currently in talks with the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development on this front.

It will take some time for Guyana to evolve into that kind of arrangement of using trash for building materials. But in the meantime, the materials are being imported with the technology and engineers in the country for construction.

“A facility here can be transformative,” De Armas added noting that already scores of persons have reached out to the company via its social media pages.

“People are interested!”

The affordable and flexible building materials can be used to construct structures for health centers, classrooms, houses and industrial storage among others.

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