In 2010, inventor Harvey Lacey was inspired from a desire to ease three difficult issues facing many resource poor settings: inadequate housing, plastic pollution, and a lack of wage earning opportunities, particularly for women. The result came in a dream and Ubuntublox was born. While the vision continues to change and be refined for greater impact, these ideals are still and always will be at the heart of Ubuntublox.

By using unwanted plastic trash as the composite material, the Ubuntublox building process not only removes plastic waste from the environment, it adds value to it, creating the potential for consistent, wage earning jobs. The low weight, highly resilient building material is excellent for construction (to find out more about the material – check out the Technology tab).

  • Pierre F. Lherisson

    Houses and building made out of plastic seem to be a sensible and practical idea for locations that are susceptible to earthquakes. However before the implementation of such idea and project more studies are needed regarding the safety of the occupants that live in such house or the global safety of a population that live in a plastic house city in case of fire, lightning or when the temperature is above 90 degree. In problem solving, every solution brings an array of its own problem. Sometime those problems are unforeseen, unanticipated, unintended. Your idea is noble but it needs scientific evaluation

    • Anonymous

      One of the interesting things for me about this concept is that everywhere this concept would be applicable there is a tradition of plastering shelters. The plaster might be cement based like in stucco or it might be local formula using dirt and sand. The plastic block is in reality a modern replacement for found stone, chunks of wood, or mud bricks that all need a plaster cover for appearances and longevity.

      I would never recommend a recycled plastic block house that wasn’t plastered inside and out because of the fire hazard. There is also the problem with using all kinds of plastic trash that some of them are going to be UV intolerant and break down rapidly in the sunlight.

      It has been pointed out to me by a good friend that plastic block walls are really no more flammable than cardboard or straw ones.

    • Anonymous

      Pierre, thank you for your reply. I followed the links and I appreciate your concerns.

      As I pointed out earlier, fire was a concern for me too. Then when I started looking at where the plastic blocks would be appreciated I noticed the tradition of plastering walls.

      The advantages of the plastic block walled structure with a plaster covering inside and out far outweigh the negatives. They’re easier to build, will flex under seismic stresses, provide great thermal insulation, can be recycled many times over, provide jobs, and they clean up the environment.

      • Pierre F. Lherisson

        Harvey, I consider that you are among the few positive thinkers in the Haitian community. Your idea appears to be innovative, cost effective and possible but as I told you it should be evaluated by the appropriate technicians meaning engineers in construction, Architects and city planning specialists.
        I know that Haiti has a few thousand engineers in the diaspora and some of them read Preval’s blog and saw your idea. I find it pretty strange that none of them so far offer to collaborate with you or willing to give you some feedback. Here again, it is the crab mentality. If it is not their idea they will not try to help you. This is one of the reasons the African continent is still lagging behind the European and the Asian.
        Below is a few links that might help you in your research. I will continue to monitor your website and I will do some research on the subject even though I am not an engineer because the worst thing to do now is do nothing and expect outsiders to come from the heaven or hell to solve Haiti problems . If I find anything that could advance your project which will be beneficial to Haiti I will let you know.
        Pierre Frantz Lherisson

        Association Des Ingenieurs Haitiens Et Americains

        Po Box 280731
        Queens Vlg , NY 11428
        Association des Ingénieurs Haïtiens au Canada (AIHC) Inc

        4121, 42E rue, Montréal, QC H1Z 1R8

        • Anonymous

          Good Morning Mr. Lherissson,

          Thank you for your links. I’ve sent an email to the engineer group asking for assistance. I believe they will come on board and you deserve the credit.

          I want to share with you what I think is so encouraging about the recycled plastic building block. For us, Dr. Geiger, Ronald Omyonga, you, and me, the wonderful thing about it is the self help remedy for poverty. We love the idea of giving the poor and disadvantaged a remedy for poverty and shelter.

          The recycled plastic block building block is much more to others. They’re the ones that see the recycled plastic block as the one hundred percent remedy for plastic pollution. They see a method for removing plastic from the landscape and landfills of the world.

          This is like having a military with not only an army, but a navy, AND an air force. We have the two strongest inate forces in humans working for us. We are naturally charitable. And we naturally want to leave the world a better place than what we found it. The recycled plastic building block unites those two aspects of our humanity. I won’t mention it also provides for the greed that is in some of us too.

          Thanks once again for your help. together, we can do this.

  • Pierre F. Lherisson

    Harvey, Take a look on the Huffington post to see the prototype of new houses that were designed for Haiti. They will be earthquake and hurricane resistant.
    It would be a good idea to have them doted with solar panels and provision for rechargeab­le batteries and wind power electricity so people could run their radios, computer, two way radios and telephone on them. We should be able to manufacture the wind power electricity devices in Haiti at a very low cost under the direction of the Faculte De Genie Et D’Architecture.