Canada is the home of the first family house made out of recycled plastic, collected from around 612.000 bottles collected for just such purpose.

The building, shaped like a regular house, is located in the rural zone of Nova Scotia in eastern Canada; it’s made from conventional materials mixed with around 612.000 recycled plastic bottles, properly crushed, melted and finally molded into walls of around 15cm thickness. Private city cleaning company FOSPUCA, directed by José Simón Elarba, recognizes the importance of recycling, and how it must become one of society’s priorities.

All the things you can do when recycling is one of your priorities

The company behind the housing prototype is JD Composites (JDC), and claims that it’s a new way to use plastic waste while also developing sustainable housing solutions. For the house, located in a fishing city, the panels made out of recycled plastic provide more insulation than traditional walls, which lowers the energy costs of heating, according to the house’s creators.

A House Made Out of Recycled Plastic
PET for sustainable architecture

The beach house spreads over 185sq feet, and is made of 170 recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) panels that were manufactured over a 10-month period. It was assembled in less than 2 days by a team of two-to-tree people. Each panel was connected with the other by chemical means, which helps strengthen the entire structure.

The manufacturing of the panels took place in Ontario by international powerhouse Armacell, known by their production of PET foam, made from recycled bottles melted into small pearls or granules. They go through an extrusion process that gives them the necessary density to be used. It’s the first time they are used to build a house.

The advantages of this material is that it produces no gas or smells. And since the recycled PET nucleus is made of a closed-cell system, besides being mold and termite resistant, it can also withstand decaying processes.

The house contains:

  • A full kitchen
  • Dining room
  • Living room
  • BBQ room
  • 3 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • A rooftop terrace that offers a wide view of the surroundings

The original purpose of the project was to build small houses that could withstand hurricanes, act as emergency shelters, shed, offices, sleeping barracks and disaster relief safe houses.

Zero-Energy buildings toward sustainable architecture

Sustainable architecture is becoming more and more trendy, placing zero-energy buildings at the top of that particular chain of evolution. For those who don’t know, the term refers to highly-efficient buildings whose sources of energy come from 100% renewable sources, making their energy balance a zero.

Net Zeb’s building shouldn’t be considered a self-sufficient building, however.  The term refers to the normative requirements that will influence a building’s own technical solutions, as well as the renewable-energy systems they choose to use, and the smart-energy networks they connect to.

A House Made Out of Recycled Plastic
Source: Aragón Investiga Oficial Facebook

José Simón Elarba Haddad says that these buildings have been designed to contribute to the general objective of reducing the use of energy and CO2 emissions, while keeping costs and environmental damage as low as possible. A clear example of these buildings is the Spanish Research Center for the Use of Energy and Resources, located in Zaragoza, Spain. The building is a model of bio-construction and sustainability, made with the latest available tech and with environmentally-friendly materials.

FOSPUCA claims that, starting on 2020, they will use the Europeans example in order to ensure all new buildings have zero –or near zero—energy use, which in this case refers to a yearly use of energy of less than 60kWh/m2.