Get our free book (in Spanish or English) on rainwater now - To Catch the Rain.
Arroyo Norte sustainable market materials
Practivistas Dominicana - Student Projects
The newest project site for the Practivistas Dominicana program is in Arroyo Norte. Arroyo Norte is a community, which was built in close proximity to Duquesa, the dumpsite for Santo Domingo. The dumpsite is the largest in the country, and the community exemplifies Appropriate Technology by building homes, community centers, and markets out of the materials they have in abundance at the nearby dumpsite. They have asked for us to come in and use the waste materials to build prototypes with them for furniture and walls to construct a new supermercado in Arroyo Norte. This would be the first large market in the community. The market will be built in the near future, but for this project we will only be experimenting with materials to develop alternative designs for things necessary in a marketplace. The 25-room supermercado will need a funding source, which we hope our prototypes will help generate upon completion. Our role in this project is to develop aesthetically pleasing, structurally sound, and economically feasible prototypes for use in the supermercado.
The objective of this project is to research and develop wall and table prototypes that can be reproduced and used in a sustainably constructed market in Arroyo Norte, Dominican Republic.
The following table of criteria was developed in a community meeting and is used to evaluate alternative solutions.
|Resistance||Prototypes must successfully pass the spray test, scratch test, and tensile strength test.||10|
|Marketability||The prototypes must have potential for reproduction at minimum, and potential for revenue production at best.||9|
|Aesthetics||The prototypes must at least be visually acceptable to the community members involved, and at best look "clean".||9|
|Security||The wall prototypes must look secure and be resistant to break-ins.||9|
|Educational Value||The prototypes must display reused materials in some way.||9|
|Accessibility of Materials||At least 90% of materials used in the prototypes must come from the Arroyo Norte waste station.||9|
|Mobility||The furniture must be movable by 2 or less people.||8|
|Adaptability||The prototypes shall be created with room adaptability in mind.||7|
|Cost||The prototypes should minimize cost where possible. The walls shall not exceed $100 USD each, and the tables shall not exceed $50 USD each.||6|
See our Literature Review for relevant research completed for this project.
The table below outlines a timeline for Team Terrific to complete the prototypes by Thursday July 3, 2014.
|Monday, June 16||Complete Budget/Finish negotiations with practivistas|
|Tuesday, June 17||Brainstorm Explosion/Plastic Bottle cap Mold Extravaganza|
|Wednesday, June 18||Complete plastic research/Brainstorm Explosion #2|
|Thursday, June 19||Work day - Melt massive amounts of HDPE Plastic #2/Finalize caps & bottles|
|Friday, June 20||Purchase plastic tools to mass produce plastic tiles|
|Saturday, June 21||Finish all plastic prototypes/Finish wood chips and resin|
|Sunday, June 22||BEACH DAY|
|Sunday, June 29||Build on and perfect prototypes/Beauty with Mama|
|Monday, June 30||Work on presentations|
|Thursday, July 3||Present Projects|
The table below describes the cost to replicate our completed prototype projects. The cost table below does not include experimental materials and tools. Costs are listed in Dominican Pesos.
|Quantity||Material||Source||Project||Cost ($)DOP||Total ($)DOP|
|3||"Calentador"/Sterno cans||La Sirena||Plastic Wire||48.41||145.23|
|1 Quart||Waterproof wood paint||Centro Ferreteria J&R||Cable spool table||750.00||750.00|
|1||Paintbrush (small)||Centro Ferreteria J&R||Cable spool table||250.00||250.00|
|5||Sandpaper (60 and 220 grit)||JV Ferreteria Cerrajeria S.R.L.||Cable spool table||37.17||185.87|
|2||Wood palettes||Duquesa||Earthship Bar||150.00||300.00|
|1 bin||Plastic #2 HDPE||Duquesa||Plastic Prototypes||200.00||200.00|
|1 gallon||Soy Cooking Oil||La Cadena||Plastic Prototypes||418.00||418.00|
|2||12" Clamp||La Sirena||Plastic Prototypes||392.00||784.00|
|1||Transportation of duquesa materials||Duquesa||Plastic Prototypes||500.00||500.00|
|2||Floral snippers||Ferreteria U&P||Plastic Prototypes||350.00||700.00|
|2||4" clamps||Ferreteria U&P||Plastic Prototypes||275.00||550.00|
|3||Scissors||La Sirena||Plastic Prototypes||100.00||300.00|
|1||Propane-powered grill||Mexico/Duarte Blender Repair Shop||Plastic Prototypes||1,800||1,800|
|1||Box cutter||La Sirena||Plastic Bottle Ripper||63.33||63.33|
This section illustrates a step-by-step tutorial on how to replicate the prototypes we created for the Arroyo Norte sustainable market.
Glass Bottle Wall
- 100 Jumbo Presidente bottles
- earthen mortar: clay, sand, water
- plastering trowel
- earthen plaster: cal putty, sawdust, sifter/ sifted sand, water
Plastic #2 Tiles: Melting In a Sandwich Press
These tiles were melted using a sandwich grill to melt HDPE Plastic #2, which was taken from the waste stream in Arroyo Norte.
The following documents explain experimental outcomes of our experiences melting HDPE plastic using an electric and a propane-powered sandwich press.
Electric Sandwich Grill The following experiments document our experiences melting small pieces of HDPE #2 plastic into tiles using an electric sandwich grill and wax paper.
The following experiments were performed using a large 12" x 12" flat paneled sandwich grill powered by propane.
Plastic #2 Molds: Melting in cooking oil
CAUTION: Melted plastic is extremely hot, and takes hours to cool. Wear safety gloves and wooden tools when working with melted plastic and eye protection around hot cooking oil.
- used tires
- metal malette
- salvaged rebar/ pvc pipe
- earth (can be any mixture of dirt, sand, clay, etc.)
- earthen plaster: lime, cement, sifter/ sifted sand, water, sawdust
- plastering trowel
- palette wood
- table top: gesso, portland cement, water, cabulla fiber, scrap rebar/metal sticks, scrap billboard material
|How We Built an Earthship Bar|
|Step 1: Dig a trench to secure the first row of tires|
|Step 2: Use a level on each tire as you build the earthship wall, ensuring structural integrity.|
|Step 3: Two pieces of scrap rebar and one piece of scrap PVC pipe were hammered into the ground, and each tire was lifted over at least one piece of rebar to hold it in place.|
|Step 4: Fill tires with clay and earth mixture, packing the tire as full as possible with a metal malette.|
|Step 5: Plaster the tires with sawdust plaster. Ingredients: 22 gallons of sawdust, 2 gallons of lime, 16 and 1/2 gallons of sifted sand, 1 bag of cement, and roughly 20-22 gallons of water. This produces roughly 40 gallons of plaster. (This plaster was created by the Las Malvinas ecoladrillo schoolroom Practivistas team.)|
|Step 6: Make a frame out of scrap wood. We used the billboard material so that the gesso would not fall through when we poured it in. To make bar top mixture: add equal parts of portland cement and white gesso powders to a bucket of water. Pile powder onto the water until you see a little island form on top...mix together with hands and once it reaches a thicker texture, quickly pour into the mold, a layer at a time.|
|Step 7: Add scrap metal wire to act as rebar. Add cabulla as additional rebar strength. Cabulla is a plant found in Arroyo Norte, which strings out into long fibers. We did one layer of cabulla, a layer of gesso, and then another layer of cabulla.|
|Step 8: Remove nails and wood from the wooden mold frame with a hammer. Level the top with a flat-edged metal yard stick/level, scraping while it's still workable (feels solid, but still wet) and use a knife to clean-up the edges while it's still workable. And voila, Earthship Bartop!|
Plastic Bottle Ripper
Glass Bottle Wall
- When the earthen mortar mixture is cracking, add more sand. When the earthen mortar is crumbling, add more clay.
- The earthen mortar mixture should be on the dryer side when applying.
Melting HDPE Plastic #2 in Electric sandwich grill
- Successfully melted thin plastic pancakes
- Plastic pancakes need to be folded while hot and repressed to create clean edges, or have edges cut off after cooled.
- Cook time: ~10 minutes
Melting HDPE #2 Plastic in Large Propane-powered sandwich grill
- Successfully melted thicker, larger plastic pancakes
- Plastic pancakes need additional work to create clean edges
- Cook time: ~15 minutes
Melting HDPE #2 Plastic in Parchment Paper VS Banana Leaf
- Parchment paper: Best material for melting plastic in sandwich grills because it does not stick, burn, or leave any impurities behind in the end result.
- Banana Leaf: Successfully melted large plastic pancakes with banana leaf. However, the banana leaf stuck to some parts of the plastic surface (~10%), which takes additional work to remove once cooled.
- Wax paper: Successfully melted one 1 out of 10 attempted thin plastic tiles with wax paper, but it melts, burns, and sticks to the plastic tiles most of the time. We were able to make it work at a very consistent temperature in the electric sandwich grill, but it's not ideal.
Melting HDPE #2 Plastic in Soy Oil on the Stovetop
- Melting in oil kept a consistent temperature, but left the pressed block very oily after it was cooled.
- Plastic pieces that were cut small heated to temperature quicker than re-used previously melted blocks of plastic.
- Cooking time: 15 minutes once oil is up to temperature
- This method seems to have the most potential for reproduction of melted plastic materials because it is efficient, quick, and easy.
- In Arroyo Norte: It would be possible to cook plastic with a propane-powered stove, but I would not suggest this method over an open-fire because it's important to keep a consistent temperature.
Molding HDPE #2 Plastic Bricks
- Successfully molded 2 solid bricks of plastic using a small wooden mold with a removable top, and clamps to keep pressure on the plastic while it cooled.
- Pressure was not enough with 2 clamps, so it had some bumpy edges. More pressure on the cooling brick would make cleaner-looking bricks that don't need to be cut smooth once cooled.
Molding HDPE #2 Plastic Blocks
- Successfully molded 3 large blocks of plastic using a large wooden mold with a removable top.
- The removable top fell into the mold, allowing any amount of plastic to be pressured evenly inside it
- This method can be very efficient for making plastic tiles, all you have to do is get the cooled block on a band saw and cut 20 tiles out of one block of plastic.
- This method has a lot of potential for the next steps of developing furniture for the Arroyo Norte marketplace.
Glass Bottle Wall
- Plaster over the earthen mortar once the wall is completely dry.
- Mosquito-proof the completed wall. For example: Fill bottles with water and wine corks to seal the moisture and to illuminate the space more.
HDPE Plastic Prototypes
- Energy analysis of melting plastic in oil on the stovetop vs. propane sandwich press vs. electric sandwich press
- Find the most efficient way for community members in Arroyo Norte to melt large amounts of plastic safely (temperature cannot exceed 350 degrees F)
- Make a tall mold out of wood or metal to make table legs out of HDPE molded plastic. Mold must withstand the pressure placed on the cooling plastic.
- Experiment with the pressure used on plastic while it's cooling: does the small surface area really decrease the need for higher pressure (psi) if it's as tall as a table leg?
- Find a way to use reclaimed/repurposed materials from the waste stream for the molds
Brought to you by Team Terrific, Practivistas 2014