DMU Architecture students to build a low-cost sustainable bottle house in Nigeria

By Elliot Leadbetter

Architecture and Engineering students from De Montfort University may soon be building a house from plastic bottles for impoverished people in Nigeria.

The undergraduates will leave Britain on Friday, June 30, and return on July 7, spending most of their time in Abuja, the capital of Africa’s most populous country as part of the #DMUglobal programme.


Sam Butler, an Architecture student at DMU who is going on the trip, said: “This will be an exciting project to be a part of and participate in.

“It will be brilliant as a student to be able to include this in our portfolios and CVs and to put the skills we are learning in class into action.

“As well as all this, it is a great chance to get involved in one of the multiple #DMUglobal opportunities that arise and see a part of the world I perhaps wouldn’t have seen otherwise.”


While there, the students from DMU’s School of Engineering and Sustainable Development and from the Leicester School of Architecture will be tasked with designing a cheap, autonomous home for an economically destitute population.

Students will use locally engineered materials, for example using plastic bottles to make the walls, filled with water, and bound together with an organic composite such as clay, sugarcane, coconut shells or banana stems.

During their time in Nigeria, the students will also participate in cultural activities such as visiting Abuja Art and Craft Village, the National Gallery of Art, and the Julie Useni Park.

This trip makes up just one of scores of opportunities which the #DMUglobal programme offers to students, with other prospects in Berlin, Kenya, Canada, Madrid, Munich and many more.





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