Rusty Orner, of Quiet Creek Farm, in PA, took the idea of insulating an oven floor with recycled beer bottles and applied it to a yurt he was building as a classroom and bunk space for students and interns.
On leveled ground, they made a rubble trench, covered with gravel bags and capped with mortar and slate, to support the lattice walls of the yurt. They filled the thirty foot diameter donut with packed shale, a thin layer of sand, and then 5,000 beer bottles. The empty bottles provide four inches of insulation and a thermal break to keep cold from migrating into the floor.
Rusty wrote, “once we realized we needed 5000 beer bottles, we met John from Williamâ€™s Sanitation Company. He offered his stockpile of bottles from his Punxsutawney recycling pick-up. When we tapped that resource dry, we discovered the Hourglass Bar. The owners, Tracey and Bud Miller, willingly saved their ’empties’ for us.”
As you can see, the bottles made a lovely mosaic, but it proved an impractical living and walking surface, so they filled the gaps with sand, in preparation for an earthen floor. We await a final report.