UK firm set to build “glass houses“

A new company at Knowsley, near Liverpool in north-west England will turn old bottles into “glass houses“ able to withstand hurricanes and earthquakes.
The buildings will revolutionise the housing …

A new company at Knowsley, near Liverpool in north-west England will turn old bottles into “glass houses“ able to withstand hurricanes and earthquakes. The buildings will revolutionise the housing industry and create more than 1,000 jobs in the area, according to Richard Irving, a founder of Ambient Homes. The firm already has a show home at Knowsley Industrial Park, where Mr Irving thinks they will soon be making a house every hour. The houses are made from panels of recycled glass and resin held together by a series of cables on a concrete foundation. They will be more durable than traditional homes, according to the company, because of their unique structure. Mr Irving said: “Glass has six times the tensile strength of steel but it“s inherently brittle. If you entrap it in resin you retain its tensile strength and lose its brittleness.” This makes the homes robust enough to withstand hurricanes and even earthquakes, claims Ambient Homes. Mr Irving said the plant would use 2,000 tonnes of glass a year and could take glass of any type. The company has had a factory for the last eight years in Puerto Rico, but this will be its first one in the UK. Looking to the UK market, the company now hopes to take up the challenge from Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott to build affordable homes that cost under GBP 60,000.