An extraordinary construction in Nova Scotia could offer a solution to both the housing shortage and the issue of plastics.
A home has been built from 600,000 recycled plastic bottles, created by a company called JD Composites near the Meteghan River in Halifax.
And more than 1,000 turned up to see the official unveiling of the world’s first completely plastic property.
Joel German and David Saulnier set up JD Composites last year and sourced the materials from a firm that recycles plastic bottles into lightweight foam board.
Armacell takes recycled plastic bottles that have been turned into pellets and turns them into foam that expands and hardens when used to create foam boards.
The company usually sells those boards to make the blades of wind turbines, but the business partners had a more ambitious project in mind. Saulnier had used the product when he designed an unmanned boat and considered it might have wider possibilities.
He told a Canadian radio station: “What we wanted to do was try to achieve a solution in housing using composites.
“I have a background in composites in boat-building and composites structures, and I decided to use 100 percent recycled PET plastic.
“We took their raw product, brought down to Meteghan, Nova Scotia, here in our factory and started designing and making panels for a beach house.”
Assembled on site
The 2,000 sq ft, three-bed bungalow was assembled on site, comprising of around 178 foam board panels to create the exterior. The interior was completed using traditional building products and methods.
According to JD Composites, the cost of construction were roughly the same for a house of that size built using traditional materials. However, the foam blocks are coated in fibreglass and are resistant to mould and rot, making them twice as efficient at insulation.
Looking for investors
Mr German said that the building costs were roughly the same as for a normal house of its size but the foam blocks, coated in a fibreglass skin, were resistant to mould and rot and at least twice as efficient at insulating the home as ordinary materials.
The company is now looking for investors to create more houses using recycled plastic.