Bottle classrooms are built using the established method of post-and-beam construction. The foundations, columns and beams are made from concrete reinforced with iron rebar. Instead of cinder-blocks, like more traditional construction methods, we use eco-bricks to fill out our walls.
The Bottle School Manual includes guidance on community preparation, planning and budgeting – right through to architectural plans and step-by-step construction instructions with pictures for all stages of the process.
The manual is open source, which means that anybody can access it. We just ask that if you utilize the manual to build a project in your community that you credit Hug It Forward with a link to our website. This will allow us to track the ripple effect our projects have on a global level. It also gives us the opportunity to reach out and discuss what improvements could be made to the manual.
In May 2012, the first bottle school project outside Guatemala was completed in El Salvador, after Peace Corps Volunteer Sarah Sterling found our manual online and used it to construct a project in her community of Los Puentecitos.