This plastic house can withstand 300 MPH winds

Sustainability |  2 min. read

(Featured photo from JD Composites)

Meet the new brick.

It IS a plastic water bottle, true — but put 612,000 of them together, and you’ve got…

…a house!

An eco-friendly house, made from recycled plastic water bottles (aka, the new brick).

Also, you’ve got an answer.  An answer to an important question these days — how do we keep all the benefits of using plastic, without burying ourselves under that plastic when we’re done with it.

If plastic (like a water bottle) gets tossed, the fact that it is a strong and durable material can be a problem (trash that won’t go away).  But RE-USE that old plastic, to make running shoes, chairs — or houses, and now “strong and durable” are virtues again.

And in building this house, oceanside in Nova Scotia, Canada, JD Composites (Joel and David), are one part of a growing movement moving us toward that world of re-cycling and re-using plastic.

In this case, incidentally, when we say “strong and durable” are virtues, we mean it.  Canadian weather, especially on the Atlantic coast is some serious weather.  So before Joel and David (JD) started building, they did some testing.  They took one of their 5.9 inch-thick plastic panels to a wind tunnel — and hit it with “winds” over THREE HUNDRED MILES AN HOUR.  (It did just fine.)

Those plastic foam panels also do just fine as insulation — nice when the thermometer hits zero (that’s Celsius – 32 degrees in Fahrenheit) in the winter.  Nice in a summer heat wave too.

And “foam”.  We say “plastic foam panels” because this house is not made by stacking plastic bottles, one on top of another on top of another.  No.  The bottles are chopped up, melted down and molded into plastic foam panels.

And while the outside of this plastic house looks pretty plain, inside…

(Photo from JD Composites)

…we’d say it’s quite nice.  You’d never know this house was different from any other.

It’s even PET-friendly, this house.  Ok, that’s a plastics joke (what, you thought there weren’t any?).  “PET” — is the type of plastic that water bottles, and now houses, are made from — polyethylene terephthalate.  (And if that looks familiar, the starting point for PET is the petrochemical xylene.)

And, you know what they say about people who live in glass houses?  Well, in a plastic house — you’re good.  (You check out the house yourself;  in fact, you could BUY the house.  J and D have all the details.


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