JD Composites New Product: Builds Energy Efficient Home in Days

Originally published by: Interesting EngineeringJuly 6, 2019

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Here's a new use for those plastic soda and water bottles flooding the ocean and sitting in landfills for years: home construction. 

JD Composites, the Canadian homebuilder built a three bedroom house in Nova Scotia that is made out of 612,000 plastic soda bottles.

Exterior of home made from plastic bottles (JD Composites)

The plastic was melted and injected with gas to make the 15 centimeters think plastic walls. According to reports, the material provides better insulation in the summer and winter, are resistant to moisture and mildew and enable a house to be built in days rather than months. 

Even more appealing, at least to homeowners living in hurricane areas, is its ability to withstand extreme winds.  JD Composites sent a sample of its plastic walls to be certified for hurricane resistance. It was put through the paces, even what a category 5 hurricane would feel like.  The plastic panels were able to stand up to wind speeds up as much as 326 miles per hour.  The walls could withstand even stronger winds. The company said the testing machine maxed out and the walls were still in one piece. 

While this house costs about $400,000 to erect, it is expected to have fewer issues down the road because the material is so durable. That could appeal to some homebuyers who are already spending around $400,000 for new construction. JD Composites, which operates in the boat building industry, said it intends to put the house up for sale but if there are no buyers it will list it on AirBNB. 

Developers Race to Develop Hurricane Proof Structures 

For years home builders and construction companies have been trying to develop homes that can withstand the hurricane season which has increasingly gotten worse in the past few years. One just needs to look at hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico for evidence.  That category 5 hurricane decimated the island in September of 2017. 

With the worst Atlantic hurricane season top of mind, architects and urban planners have been working hard to develop cities that can stand up to hurricanes.  In late 2017 architect Koen Olthuis teamed up with a housing startup to develop a hurricane proof house, that ditches land in favor of an aquatic location. The luxury accommodation concept is designed to float on close-to-shore waterways like bays and rivers.

Meanwhile, in the UK Baca Architects and Floating Homes are working on a series of floating homes along London's canals. The building would house as many as 7,500 people in need of homes. The structures would be prefabricated and dropped into the site.