A Canadian company in Nova Scotia, built a house using 612,000 plastic bottles. Although plastic may seem like a strange choice for construction material over traditional options like brick and wood, companies are constantly finding innovative ways to reuse plastic. The home built in Meteghan River contains recycled aluminum, wood, and drywall but the star of this unique innovation is the slabs made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles.
The Ontario-based company Armacell first shredded discarded plastic bottles, then reduced the bottles to pellets and melted them into PET foam, a core material used by the composite industry. This foam was then shaped into panels to create the exterior walls of the house. These panels provide insulation that helps maintain warm temperatures indoors during cold weather twice as effectively as homes made of conventional materials.
The homes have proven sturdy and are built to withstand extreme weather conditions like hurricanes, flooding, and other natural catastrophes. If the recycled PET can resist elements such as moisture, fatigue, corrosion, and rot, this technology could be exported around the world.
What makes this project all the more impressive is the fact that the home took just 14 hours to assemble. Usage of minimal wood also means that the house is termite-proof. Adding to the other eco-friendly advantages, it is also expected to be twice as energy-efficient as a typical house.
The founders of JD Composites, Joel German and David Saulnier
JD Composites plans to create pathways that will allow them to export the sustainable home-building technique to countries in South America, the Caribbean, and the United States. To further expand the scope for future exports, the Government of Canada’s Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency has provided a repayable $109,690 contribution to construct the demonstration home.
Thanks to the new approach by Nova Scotia-based JD Composite, these discarded bottles that otherwise end up in landfills or dumped in oceans, can now find a better use. You’re taking all this [plastic] out of the environment and making stuff with it,” David Saulnier, president of the company, told CBC. If this out of the box construction idea withstands various elements, it will prove to be a boon for the environment and the economy.