A house made of plastic soda bottles can withstand winds twice as strong as a Category 5 hurricane. Take a look inside.

Aria Bendix 04 Sep 2019 Deel dit artikel.

Foto: JD Composites Inc. The home was made with more than 600,000 plastic bottles.

Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the Bahamas on Sunday as a Category 5 storm, with sustained wind speeds of 185 miles per hour. The onslaught of wind, rain, and storm surge inundated roads, destroyed homes, and claimed at least five lives.

Dorian was moving toward the Florida coast as of Tuesday afternoon, and its effects are expected to hit Georgia and South Carolina in the coming days as well. Though the hurricane’s winds are growing weaker, the storm has become larger, which could increase the risk of flooding in coastal areas.

During storms like Dorian, homes made of durable, wind-resistant materials enjoy an added layer of protection.

Recently, the Canadian construction firm JD Composites found a way to build hurricane-resistant walls out of recycled plastic. The company’s 2,000-square-foot home features walls made of 600,000 plastic soda bottles, which were shredded, melted, and molded into a material that can withstand a Category 5 storm. AdvertentieMeer weten?

Take a look inside the sleek structure.

The home was built as a proof of concept in Nova Scotia, then placed on the market for $490,000. It took more than 600,000 plastic soda bottles to construct the paneled walls.

Foto: The home is in Nova Scotia, Canada.sourceJD Composites Inc.

The bottles were shredded, melted, and injected with a gas that turned them into foam. That foam was then molded into 6-inch-thick panels, which form the walls of the home.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the final sale cost included furnishings.

The plastic bottles used to construct the walls had been rejected for recycling.

Foto: The house’s plastic walls mimic real wood.sourceJD Composites Inc.

Recycling has become more expensive for local governments because China has changed its policies about buying recyclable material from the US. So many cities have resorted to disposing of recyclable goods in landfills.

Read more: China is refusing to take ‘foreign garbage’ from the US, so these 6 cities are burning or throwing away your recycling

The panels took seven hours to build, but the company says they’re sturdier than most.

Foto: Inside the house, the kitchen has traditional furnishings.sourceJD Composites Inc.

The home has a total of 170 panels that are bonded with chemicals instead of nails and shingles, which can come loose during a hurricane.

JD Composites estimates that the home’s cost is about equal to or perhaps 10% more than a conventional structure of the same size.

Foto: JD Composites said it considered renting the home on Airbnb.sourceJD Composites Inc.

“We had a lot of learning curves, so profit margins will be minimal,” said Joel German, the company’s vice president, said of the proof-of-concept house. “But we will gain in knowledge from this first build.”

He added, “we know where we can cut costs down.”

Since plastic is so durable, the panels can withstand winds twice as strong as a Category 5 hurricane, JD Composites says.

Foto: The home has three bedrooms.sourceJD Composites Inc.

The company said it tested the panels at a certification facility, where the walls endured 326 mph winds. Category 5 hurricane winds start at 157 mph.

Read more: How to hurricane-proof your home, according to an architect who designs homes that could withstand Category 4 hurricanes

But the windows still need to be storm-proofed.

Foto: The living room and dining area.sourceJD Composites Inc.

The home was built with glazed windows, which the US Federal Emergency Management Agency has described as “very vulnerable to damage from wind forces and windborne debris.”

In the event of a hurricane, the consequence of a broken window can be grave: It can cause air pressure to rise and the house to blow apart from the inside.

German said the home could be equipped with more hurricane-resistant features. Many homes built to withstand a hurricane come outfitted with steel shutters, concrete pilings, hurricane straps, and impact-rated garage doors.

Nova Scotia does not see many hurricanes, of course, but the design could offer a solution for building in vulnerable areas like the Florida Peninsula.

Foto: A view from the roof of the house designed by JD Composites.sourceJD Composites Inc.

Hurricane Dorian is already one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. Depending on its path, Florida could see many coastal properties destroyed.