Brazilian Hotel made of recycled materials

The poor quality of Brazilian roads results in a lot of blown-out tires. Fortunately, one entrepreneurial tire-repairman took his profession to the next level — a win-win for the environment and housing market.

In the Brazilian state of Goias, Jose Neto Medeiros (known as “Ze neto”) noticed the demand among farmers for fixing flats of large tractors and combines in his small town called Goiatuba. There was no equipment locally to fix this kind of tire, so he built his own and became well-known in the area. As time passed, the amount of waste was piling up and starting to bother him, so the Brazilian inventor began testing unusual ideas for reusing the tires.

After producing a variety of useful objects with the worn tires, Ze Neto developed a construction brick made of rubber mixed with an ecological concrete. For the brick, Ze neto basically removed the metal components of the tire and cut the sides, what is left is essentially a rubber circle, that he cuts, flattens and rolls – like a roulade – fastening with staples. For the concrete, he mixed cement with rubber and other recyclables, like glass, plastic and non-toxic metal parts from appliances. To test his material, Ze Neto built a foundation and pillars on his property at Goiatuba and it worked very well.

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The next natural step was to build walls. Brazilian engineers expressed skepticism that turned to mockery – Ze Neto barely finished primary school and was building with trash. Since the tests were so encouraging, and the country isn’t very diligent at enforcing construction laws, Ze Neto began building the walls.

House made of recycled tires

During this process a local TV station broadcast a story of the rubber concrete and afterward a curious engineer from the capital city, Jose Dafico, got in touch with him. That engineer had access to the labs at the University of Goias and decided to study the material. Despite his lack of formal education, Ze Neto’s concrete passed all kinds of tests – thermal comfort, temperature, fire, impact, etc. The ecological concrete and bricks are just as good as commercial materials and are strong enough to erect three-story buildings.

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“Actually I am pretty sure it’s possible to go higher, but I don’t have the resources to go on with tests,” Dafico told Good News Network.

Ze Neto’s pillars were built with a fifteen-room hotel in mind. And, when the walls were almost finished, the story was broadcast on the biggest TV station in Brazil, Globo. Today the hotel is finished and Ze Neto intends to rent it to a private company to run the business.

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His house made of tires in the photo above is also an inspiration for builders of the future.

SPREAD Some Hope… Share. –Photos by Euller Lins

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