In Nova Scotia, Canada, lies a home (the ‘Dubbed Beach House’) made from over 600,000 plastic bottles. This home isn’t only a perfect example of how to use recycled plastic bottles, but it’s also hurricane proof! David Saulnier and Joel German co-owners of the Canadian construction firm JD Composites came up with this concept to provide an affordable and fast building solution that is simple, modern and durable.
It’s estimated that every minute that ticks by, consumers buy at least one million single-use plastic bottles – the majority don’t get recycled and end up in landfills or in waterways. That’s why JD Composites has chosen to use a fully recycled material as a means of tackling this issue of plastic pollution. “This is a way to get rid of plastic waste and at the same time develop structures that are sustainable,” said Saulnier.
Joel German said :
Our idea isn’t to make custom homes for couples looking to build a new dream home. 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 pair partnered with Ontario-based firm Armacell, who made the 100% recycled prefabricated wall panels that were used to build the home by using PET (polyethylene terephthalate) core foam green technology. These panels were produced by melting down about 612,000 recycled plastic bottles into little tiny beads, before placing them through an extruding process.
These panels provide the home with a variety of additional benefits, such as protection from moisture and mildew, excellent insulation, and extreme durability. As a bonus, the house can be assembled within a couple of weeks or even days! Furthermore, the panels were proven strong enough to withstand extremely intense wind force (twice as strong as a category 5 hurricane) when tested at the Exova engineering facility in Mississauga, Ontario.
We were able to send in a 2.43 x 2.43 meter [7.97 x 7.97 ft.] panel for our ASTM test. 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]. They basically couldn’t destroy the panel in the test chamber. They had never loaded a panel by hand in the test chamber that they couldn’t break, ever. Ours was the first.
The structure does not need framing, separate insulation, siding, shingles on the roof, or nails – the panels are chemically bonded together, which makes the overall structure that much stronger. More than 184 panels were used to build the home, with each individual panel being shaped and cut manually. The interior of the home has a large modern kitchen, open living room, three large bedrooms, two bathrooms, an indoor BBQ room, and a rooftop terrace. Large windows throughout the home, provide an abundance of natural light and good airflow while capturing the beautiful bay views. The overall build of this energy efficiency and hurricane resistance beach house, including land, cost approximately CAD 490,000 (about US $373,850). That sounds like a good deal to me!
A stairway that leads to the top of the living room, reveals a rooftop terrace overlooking St. Mary’s Bay, Nova Scotia. It’s my favorite feature. As well as the home’s energy efficiency and the way it keeps outside noise at bay.
The 2,000 square foot beach house is currently being tested out as a demo home and holiday rental through Airbnb before it will hit the market. This allows the company to triple check its durability and see 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,” German said.
The company hopes to expand quickly, to make better use of the enormous amount of plastic that is currently being thrown out all around the world.