How We Build

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.

If you are interested in a more detailed construction guide, please check out the info below on our Bottle School Manual or reach out to us for support.

Step 1: Collect Bottles & Trash

Step 2: Create Eco-bricks

Step 3: Dig Foundations

Step 4: Assemble Columns & Beams

Step 5: Insert Pins

Step 6: Attach Chicken Wire to Pins

Step 7: Tie Bottles to Chicken Wire

Step 8: Spread Cement for Walls

Step 9: Add The Roof

Step 10: Lay The Floor

Step 11: Add Doors & Windows

Step 12: Inaugurate & Celebrate

Part of Hug It Forward’s goal is to share the eco-brick technology with anybody, anywhere in the world and the Bottle School Manual, a free step-by-step guide, allows us to work towards that goal.

The Bottle School Manual

About The Manual

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.

Open Source Technology

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.

The Manual In Action

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.

Would you like to learn more? See What We Build and Why We Build or check out our Frequently Asked Questions page.