Nova Scotia is no stranger to gale-force winds, intense storms and even the occasional hurricane. Newly constructed homes in this province must be able to withstand harsh conditions, and the sustainable buildings constructed by JD Composites are proving that they can stand formidable against these harsh local conditions.
The company, which was founded in the Sainte-Marie’s Bay area by Joel German and David Saulnier, builds homes, decks, sheds and other structures using their patented technology made from recycled plastic bottles. Their structural insulated panels (SIPs) consist of Armacell ArmaForm, which is 100 per cent made of recycled plastic bottles that are sourced from an Armacell facility in Brampton, Ontario.
Armacell’s polyethylene terephthalate (PET) technology creates foam products from recycled plastic bottles by crushing them into flakes that then undergo inhouse granulation and extrusion foaming processes. In addition to being used in JC Composites’ SIPs, Armacell ArmaForm is used in 100,000 wind turbine blades, the CRH3A high-speed train in Western China, and in five gilded domes of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Paris, France.
Between 15,000 to 45,000 plastic bottles are used to create small sheds and decks, while homes can use 500,000 to 750,000. The variety of uses is impressive, but naturally many wonder how material made of recycled plastic bottles compares to conventional materials.
JD Composites used over 600,000 plastic bottles to build this Eco-House in Nova Scotia with their patented panels. Credit: JD Composites
JC Composites states that typical Canadian homes use insulation with an R-20 rating, but this value is often reduced to R-13 because wooden studs create a thermal break in the insulation. The PET plastic in SIPs do not have any thermal breaks, which result in a continuous R-30