A New Zealand man and his Taiwanese wife are using a homemade blender to build a house out of newspaper.
It's not the first time John Lamorie, 61, a former Nelson resident, has constructed buildings with walls of papercrete on his 7000sq-metre Taiwan farm, where he has been living for the past six years.
The Canadian-born Kiwi has already completed a separate dinning room, a restaurant and kitchen, an ablution block and a schoolhouse.
His latest DIY project is a small 'yurt style' house which he plans to use as a stained-glass studio.
The idea to use papercrete on his farm was sparked during a visit by an American couple.
Lamorie had built a frame with a roof, but no walls for him and his wife, Shelly, to escape the heat and place his tools, and was looking at putting up walls.
"I wanted something light," he said. "Here in Taiwan everything is done in concrete or brick and tile."
"One day ... an American couple were sitting around having a couple of beers and he said 'oh, what are you going to do with your beam house.
"He suggested using papercrete, so after he left I went online and had a look at YouTube videos and said 'hey, we can do that'."
Lamorie uses a "giant blender" with a lawnmower blade to mix the recycled newspaper with concrete for the walls.
The foundations were made of concrete, while the roofs were made of coloured-steel, though the latest building will have a papercrete roof, he said.
"It's worked out really well. A couple of things that are really good about it is that Taiwan has lots of earthquakes and the other thing is we are in the sub-tropics so it's the hottest part.
"The papercrete is very light ... and it's really good insulation both for heat and for sound."
As for whether his wife thought his papercrete idea was crazy, Lamorie said: "she knew I was crazy anyway".
"She knows being an old hippy, it's sort of just natural".
- © Fairfax NZ News
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