Tyres for Low-Cost Housing

After the Haitian Earthquake earlier this year, some clever people thought of using old tyres to build temporary housing for those who had been displaced from their homes.

Earthship Biotecture is a company that has built a number of these structures in Haiti, and other places. The temporary houses, once completed are strong and flexible, making them ideal for use in earthquake areas. So maybe with a bit of thought we’ll discover that bad things like dead tyres can actually be useful.


They might not be the most visually pleasing houses on the block… but I imagine that it would be a blessing to those who’ve lost everything… and a castle to those who never had anything. At the very least, having a house to keep dry and warm would lift the spirits of those who need it immensely. That on its’ own would make the project worthwhile, in my opinion. A little bit of help can go a long way.


Earthship is just one organisation that helps those in need by using recycled products. If you’re interested in having a look at some other ideas for recycling and using rubbish, check out the Treehugger site. This site has some brilliant articles and ideas…, quite often I find myself mumbling happily to myself about one good idea or another. This page is all about recycled building materials… some interesting stuff.



  1. Tina said,

    October 19, 2010 at 9:17 am

    I just had to add this on here… how about a recycled tyre-rubber sink?

    And on the subject of houses… how long do you think a house made of paper would last? Well, this one’s been standing for around 90 years…
    Check it out…

  2. bob said,

    October 19, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Its all good ideas…

    I saw a show and there was a wall made from bottles with mortar and it was as solid as any brick and also had an appealing look….

    too much is wasted and companies it seems are putting every thing they can into any thing thats not recyclable….

    what was in jars now come in plastic…boggles the mind when you think of all the pissing and moaning about oil and environment…

    yet alas the big co. still pollute at will…..

    * Good to see you Phoenix….
    Hope you and gryph are well…….

    • Tina said,

      October 21, 2010 at 8:08 am

      Good to see you too Bob. We’re well, thanks… 😉

      I remember going on holidays to the Sunshine Coast as a kid. We visited a place called The House of Bottles.

      It’s been constructed entirely of bottles of all sizes and shapes… thousands of them, different colours making patterns, etc. I remember them saying that the house had brilliant insulation both in winter and summer. It’s still standing quite solidly and now operates as a bottle museum. 😉

  3. GOF said,

    October 20, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Great idea….but I’d be a little concerned that the tyres might emit toxic substances into a confined area…..I’ve absolutely no basis for this concern…..just that man has a history of discovering catastrophic consequences later rather than sooner.

    • Tina said,

      October 21, 2010 at 8:15 am

      A valid concern too, I think… judging from what I’ve been reading. It seems that recycling tyre rubber is not as easy a process as it may seem. Even recycled tyre rubber leaches rubber oils, etc. And chipping it up for use in things like mats for childrens’ playgrounds may not be a good thing at all. Treating the rubber to expel most of the oils produces some pretty bad toxins too…
      Wikipedia has some decent information…

      However, the houses built in emergency conditions like these are not really meant for any long term use, and it takes quite some time for the rubber oils to leach out. The idea is that they will suffice until the place can be re-built. But you are right… we do tend to leap before looking, don’t we?

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