Made from recycled plastic, sturdy ‘lego bricks’ are created and used to change peoples lives.

A house made from recycled plastic bricks.

When Colombian Fernando Llanos decided to build his own house in Cundinamarca, he soon realised that moving the materials from Bogota was going to be difficult. He then decided to build his house out of plastic. After a series of trials and errors, he met architect Óscar Méndez, who developed his thesis on the same subject. Together they founded the company Conceptos Plásticos (Plastic Concepts) in 2011.

Today, Conceptos Plasticos has gone on to patent its system of bricks and pillars made of recycled plastic. Building a house is like building a Lego house, each piece is put together section by section. Using the Lego system, they can build houses up to two stories high in just five days.

The base material they work with is obtained from popular recyclers and factories that discard tons of plastic daily. Using an extrusion process, the plastic is melted and emptied into a final mould. Each mould creates a three-kilo brick (6.6 lbs), similar to clay ones with the same dimensions. When assembled under pressure the bricks insulate heat and have additives that retard combustion.

Plastic homes are saving communities and families

Initially created to withstand Colombia’s high levels of seismic activity the bricks are thermoacoustic and earthquake resistant. The company has also created a multiple living complex in Guami, Southwest of Colombia which now houses 42 families torn apart by conflict. They completed the project in 28 days thanks to the joint work of 15 people and recycling more than 200 tons of plastic.