Elsa Zaldívar

2008 Laureate, Applied Technology
Paraguay, Born 1960

basedir@basecta.org.py

Project Goal

Combine loofah and plastic waste to make low-cost housing

Location: Paraguay

"We want to find sustainable housing alternatives for the poor, while also discovering new markets for their agricultural products. This is a perfect combination."

Elsa Zaldívar takes leftover pieces of a vegetable sponge and mixes them with other vegetable matter and recycled plastic to form strong, lightweight panels that can easily be assembled into simple structures, including houses. Her technological, eco-friendly solution to her nation’s housing shortage will help save what remains of Paraguay’s rapidly diminishing forests.

300,000

Paraguayan families without adequate housing

<US$3

cost per square metre to produce Elsa's panels, making it competitive with existing construction materials, such as wood

Other 2008 Laureates