An organic winery in Western Australia recently became the recipient of a $20,555 AUD grant from that state's Sustainable Energy Development Office (SEDO). The money will be used to fund a thermal imaging monitoring program for a cellar-door outlet made from water filled wine bottles. The owner of the winery, Peter Little, a former architecture lecturer at Curtin University and long time passive solar design advocate, noted, "Water is probably, I think one of the miracle building materials of this century which nobody is using," he said. "From our point of view it can store more energy, heat or cool than any material we know." It seems the structure will use about 13,500 wine bottles. The farmland on which the winery, Random Valley Organic Wines in Karridale, is sited is already the winner of a national recognised Banskia Award in 'Environmental Leadership in the Rural Sector' for its certified organic beef, native flowers, grapes and snails!
Building with bottles is not new, nor is filling them with water for insulation. What appears to be worthy of a grant is the thermal imaging monitoring that will occur. There are many eclectic buildings made with bottles. For example the pic above is of the famous Rhyolite 50,000 bottle house in Death Valley. See detail on it here - and follow the links at the bottom of linked page to even more. I remember a two storey one in Queenstown, NZ, too. Earthships, (1), (2), have long used bottles in their walls (as well as car tyres).
But my all time favourite, which I never tire of using as a case study for ecodesign students, is the bottle house envisaged by de heer Heineken, who once had his beer bottles designed as bricks. Once the contents were guzzled, the container could be reused as building material. They had a recess on the base to fit the neck of another bottle into. Alas, although the bottles, known as WoBo (short for World Bottle) were indeed produced, they were never sold commercially. Rumour has it they are sitting idle in a warehouse in the Netherlands.
Organic winery bottle building story via ::Media News Wire