Hurricane-resistant home built from more than 600,000 plastic bottles
Canadian construction firm JD Composites has completed its first concept home, made from about 612,000 recycled plastic bottles. Dubbed Beach House, the home is located in Nova Scotia, Canada, and is not only a great example of how recycled plastic can be put to good use, but it's also hurricane resistant.
JD Composites co-owners David Saulnier and Joel German came up with the Beach House concept to provide an economic and fast building solution that is simple, modern and durable.
"Our idea isn't to make custom homes for couples looking to build a new dream home," Joel German tells New Atlas. "Our goal is to get in line with projects that allow for volume sales – smaller dwellings, shelters, sheds, offices, sleeping barracks. Disaster relief shelters are definitely on our radar."
The duo worked closely with Ontario-based firm Armacell, who created the prefabricated wall panels for the home using PET (polyethylene terephthalate) core foam green technology. These panels were made by melting down approximately 612,000 recycled plastic bottles into small beads, before placing them through an extensive extruding process.
"100 percent recycled PET foam from Armacell Canada is then engineered and developed to create layups and laminate schedules accordingly," says Saulnier.
"It goes through an extruding process that gives it its density depending on its secondary application – like aerospace, commercial windmills, or in this case walls for a home," German explains.
These prefabricated panels also provide the home with excellent insulation, durability, protection from moisture and mildew, and the ability to be assembled onsite within a couple of weeks, or even days. Furthermore, the panels were tested at the Exova engineering facility in Mississauga, Ontario, and proven strong enough to withstand extreme wind force, similar to a category 5 hurricane.
"We were able to send in a 2.43 x 2.43 meter [7.97 x 7.97 ft] panel for our ASTM test," says Saulnier. "We maxed out their wind testing machine as it put out max pressure on our panel. This was the equivalent of 326 mph [524 km/h]. Our panel deflected 6.2 mm [0.24 inches]."
Over 184 panels were used to build the home, with each individual panel being shaped and cut manually and according to the home's design. The end result is a modern family home boasting a simple facade, seaside-themed interior, energy efficiency and hurricane resistance.
The interior of the home features a large modern kitchen, open living, three large bedrooms, two bathrooms, indoor BBQ room and rooftop terrace. The Beach House also has large windows throughout, capturing the beautiful bay views, while also filling the home with an abundance of natural light and good airflow.
"A stairway that leads to the top of the living room, reveals a rooftop terrace overlooking St.Mary's Bay, Nova Scotia," says Saulnier. "It's my favorite feature. As well as the home's energy efficiency and the way it keeps outside noise at bay."
The Beach House is currently being tested out as a demo home and holiday rental, in order to triple check its durability and how the home's interior and exterior wear over time.
"We want to watch how the different materials we use on the homes react over time, things like paints and primers, monitoring the efficiency and different components," says German.
The overall build of the Beach House, including land, cost approximately CAD 490,000 (about US$ 373,850).
Source: JD Composites