Ubuntu-Blox are dense bales of bagged and compressed post-consumer plastic and styrofoam waste. They were originally developed by inventor / welder Harvey Lacey of Texas, USA. Several prototype walls and full-size structures have been built and tested for insulation quality and seismic resistance in Texas and Haiti following the 2010 earthquake.
In the fall of 2014, after completing and testing his first wooden compression machine (the prior built presses were made of metal), Harvey came to Santa Fe for an Ubuntu-Blox workshop with us. Together with Only Green Design we built a new, bigger compression machine made from reclaimed pallet wood, and transformed about 3 cubic meters of styrofoam into a new outdoor wall at the local Earth Nurse community.
Due to a plastic shopping bag ban here in Santa Fe, we have had to find a new and better bag for making Ubuntu-Blox. We were delighted to find that the stronger 2-cubic-feet compost and fertilizer bags fit perfectly in the bigger, reclaimed press that we made with Harvey. We then decided to try the Ubuntu-Blox out as big Ecobricks, and filled the compost bags with all sorts of mixed soft, hard and foam plastic waste. The resultant Blox are heavier than pure-styrofoam ones of equal size.
Thinking about Ubuntu-Blox for your own building project?
If sustainability is at the core of your next building project, we highly encourage you to consider Ubuntu-Blox as an affordable, ultra Green solution. At this time, building code for Ubuntu-Blox approves structures of 120 sq. ft or under, as well as outdoor structures. This could be a tool shed, garden bed, green-house base, or courtyard wall. If you’re thinking of building something bigger, like a house, with Ubuntu-Blox, just hold tight! We are currently taking steps to advance building code approval of Ubuntu-Blox.
Why consider building with Ubuntu-Blox?
We’ve got a global plastic pollution crises happening in landfills, waterways, and oceans. Ubuntu-Blox technology offers a solution by upcycling plastic waste into insulation material, while simultaneously providing affordable building supplies to all builders, whether expert or novice.
Getting started with your own sustainable building project is just an email away.
How to Build an Ubuntu-Blox Machine:
Building with Ubuntu-Blox Workshop Videos:
Harvey Lacey in Haiti:
National Technical Systems 7.0 Earthquake Test: