A comparative study of the thermal performance of plastic bottle wall against traditional composite brick wall typologies

Khaled Aly Tarabieh (American University in Cairo)
Khaled Nassar (American University in Cairo)
Mera Sharkass (American University in Cairo)


According to the container recycling institute, nearly a million plastic beverage bottles are sold every minute around the world. Plastic bottles are considered as an urban junk, however, it has shape characteristics which make them usable in construction in lieu of conventional bricks. This research promotes the use of recycled plastic bottles as eco-bricks by substituting it with the typical construction bricks. It evaluates the thermal performance of sand filled plastic bottle-walls in a comparative analysis with traditional composite brick walls.  The thermal performance of the plastic bottle walls was evaluated through COMSOL® Multi-physics and the results are noted.


Eco-friendly plastic bottle walls; COMSOL® Multi-physics; heat transfer; building envelope; brick walls.

Full Text:



Plastics Europe. Available online: http://www.plasticseurope.org/ (accessed on 10 January 2020).

Junod, T.L. Gaseous Emissions and Toxic Hazards Associated with Plastics in Fire Situations—A Literature Review; NASA-TN-D-8338; NASA: Washington, DC, USA, 1976.

Jambeck, J.R.; Geyer, R.; Wilcox, C.; Siegler, T.R.; Perryman, M.; Andrady, A.; Narayan, R.; Law, K.L. Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean. Science. 2015, 347, 768–771. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1260352

Alqahtani, F.K.; Ghataora, G.; Khan, M.I.; Dirar, S. Novel lightweight concrete containing manufactured plastic aggregate. Construction Building Materials. 2017, 148, 386–397. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2017.05.011

Mattsson, K.; Hansson, L.A.; Cedervall, T. Nano-plastics in the aquatic environment. Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts. 2015, 17, 1712–1721. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1039/c5em00227c

Lazarevic, D., Aoustin, E., Buclet, N., & Brandt, N. Plastic waste management in the context of a European recycling society: comparing results and uncertainties in a life cycle perspective. Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 2010, 55(2), 246-259.‏ DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2010.09.014

Rigamonti, L., Grosso, M., Møller, J., Sanchez, V. M., Magnani, S., & Christensen, T. H. Environmental evaluation of plastic waste management scenarios. Resources, Conservation and Recycling 2014, 85, 42-53.‏ DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2013.12.012

Shimao, M. Biodegradation of plastics. Current opinion in biotechnology. 2001, 12(3), 242-247.‏ DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/s0958-1669(00)00206-8

Urbanek, A. K., Rymowicz, W., & Mirończuk, A. M. Degradation of plastics and plastic-degrading bacteria in cold marine habitats. Applied microbiology and biotechnology. 2018, 102(18), 7669-7678.‏ DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-018-9195-y

Spaces. Available online: http://spacesarchives.org/explore/search-the-online-collection/william-f-peck-pecks-bottle-house/ (accessed on 19 January 2020).

Inhabitat. Available online: https://inhabitat.com/africas-first-plastic-bottle-house-rises-in-nigeria/nigeria-bottle-house-1/ (accessed on 19 January 2020).

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Available online: https://www.epa.gov/facts-and-figures-about-materials-waste-and-recycling/plastics-material-specific-data (accessed on 21 January 2020).

Mansour, A. M. H., & Ali, S. A. Reusing waste plastic bottles as an alternative sustainable building material. Energy for sustainable development. 2015, 24, 79-85.‏ DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esd.2014.11.001

Mokhtar, M., Sahat, S., Hamid, B., Kaamin, M., Kesot, M. J., Law, C. W., ... & Sim, V. J. L. Application of plastic bottle as a wall structure for green house, ‏ 2015. ARPN Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Abouhadid, M., Mansour, A., Shafik, R., & ElRawy, O. Thermal Performance of Plastic Bottles Walls Reused in Building Construction for Waste Reduction. ‏ International Journal of Innovative Technology and Exploring Engineering (IJITEE), November 2019 ISSN: 2278-3075, Volume-9 Issue-1.

COMSOL Multiphysics, Available online: https://www.comsol.com/. (accessed on February 2019).

Gerlich, V., Sulovská, K., & Zálešák, M. (2013). COMSOL Multiphysics validation as simulation software for heat transfer calculation in buildings: Building simulation software validation. Measurement: journal of the International Measurement Confederation. 2003, 46(6). Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.measurement.2013.02.020

Asdrubali, F., Pisello, A. L., D'alessandro, F., Bianchi, F., Fabiani, C., Cornicchia, M., & Rotili, A. (2016). Experimental and numerical characterization of innovative cardboard based panels: Thermal and acoustic performance analysis and life cycle assessment. Building and Environment, 95, 145-159.‏ Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2015.09.003

Baghban, M. H., Hovde, P. J., & Gustavsen, A. (2010). Numerical simulation of a building envelope with high performance materials. In COMSOL conference, Paris.‏

Vladimir, G., Michal, O., Radim, P., & Martin, Z. (2012). Benchmark of COMSOL Multiphysics via in-depth floor slab test–Transient cases. Energy Procedia, 14, 744-749.‏ DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2011.12.1005.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.30564/jcr.v2i1.2653


  • There are currently no refbacks.
Copyright © 2021 Khaled Aly Tarabieh Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.