When purchasing building materials online, an increasing consideration amongst contractors is ensuring that the materials that are used to create their buildings have as low a level of carbon emissions as possible, typically focusing on not only its construction but lifecycle and demolition as well.
With that in mind, one of the most sustainably constructed buildings in the world is a temple in Thailand made almost entirely out of over 1.5m beer bottles.
Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew, better known in the western world as the Temple of a Million Bottles, is a Buddhist temple based in Khun Han, a district of North-East Thailand that started as an idea by local Buddhist monks to help people in the local area recycle their waste and lead a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.
To this end, they collected over a million beer bottles, primarily Heineken green bottles and brown Chang bottles, and spent over two years constructing the building, whilst the bottle caps were used to create mosaics.
In 1986 the main temple building was completed, but because there were so many bottles construction has continued in the decades since, with over twenty buildings being made using the bottles as a construction material, as well as clear fizzy drinks bottles and energy drinks cans.
These include a water tower, a crematorium, a set of prayer rooms, bathrooms for tourists and a village of raised bungalows that the local monks reside in.
The foundation of the building is based on a concrete core to help keep the building rigid, but the carbon cost of this carbon was more than offset by the sustainable building materials used in the rest of the temple.
Word has since spread widely, and the temple made from cast-off materials has become a vibrant and exceptionally popular tourist attraction, and the monks have said that they will keep building as long as there are still bottles they can use.