Area: 30 square meters (323 square feet) floor area

Primary Building Materials: Tires, rammed earth, glass bottles, and concrete

Description: Los Técnicos’ Tire Buildings offer a quick, affordable and environmentally sustainable way of building, and result in spaces which are both comfortable and economical.

Each tire in the building is filled with compacted earth, and laid in a running bond, much like standard brick work.  There is no reinforcement in any of this as the weight of the compacted tire and elliptical shape of the building maintain structural integrity.  A concrete bond beam is poured in-situ at the top of the wall, acting as a tie-in member between the tires and roof structure.  The technique of ferro cement is used for the roof, where wire mesh is shaped and cement applied directly to the mesh.  Glass bottles are inserted into the cement; recycling and re-purposing the bottle, where they act as mini skylights in the roof.

Tire buildings have a high thermal mass, maintaining a constant internal temperature whatever the external weather conditions.  This minimizes the need for additional expensive thermal regulators, such as heating.  The building can be connected to water and electrical supplies to run services as required, or alternatively can easily be powered by photovoltaic cells and use on-site water tanks or catchments - better for the environment and reduces running costs.  Additionally earth as a building material has a very low embodied energy, and reduces construction waste, which saves money and the environment.

Using recycled materials in the building not only reduces landfill waste, but tire structures are also highly earthquake resistant, making them ideal for disaster relief or disaster prevention.