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A home made from excess plastic bottles in Nova Scotia, Canada
  • In a world of excess plastic bottles, JD Composites found their home

In a world of excess plastic bottles, JD Composites found their home

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

When plastic bottles are recycled, they can be transformed into unexpected new products like clothing, sleeping bags, or carpet. In the case of one very innovative Nova Scotia company, they can even become an entire home.

With the use of more than 600,000 plastic bottles, JD Composites has just unveiled its first concept home in Meteghan, Nova Scotia.

So exactly how does 600,000 plastic bottles become a home?

For starters, if you drove by a JD Composites home, your first thought would not about recycled plastic bottles.

Joel German, co-owner of JD Composites, explains. “We work with a company out of Ontario, Armacell, to source pre-made panels. Armacell creates PET foam from recycled bottles by mulching them up and then melting them down to make small beads.”

“From there it goes through an extruding process that gives it its density depending on its secondary application- like aerospace, commercial windmills, or in this case walls for a home”

Scratch the white picket fence. JD Composites has an entirely different goal.

“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.”

As German confirms, their next step is abundantly clear. “We’re ready to export to any country and teach crews how to use our methods of construction.”

Competition in the clean tech space

In a world economy shifting towards a clean tech approach, JD Composites was fortunate to have a strong background in the field through the other co-owner, David Saulnier.

As German explains, “David’s background allows us to harness this product and put it good use in the housing sector; a sector that has lacked innovation on a commercial scale for many years.”

“Though new products are always coming on board, most of the newer products are not green and most are just improvements of already existing technology. We’ve finally been able to develop something innovative that can be taken and used by many with very little training involved.”

"Only four major companies in the world are using this material and German and JD Composites is the only one that's using it in this way."
JD Composites in Forbes.com.

A work in progress.

For the time being the concept house is modeled for renting and demonstrative purposes. But more importantly, JD Composites wants to focus on further testing.

“We want to watch how the different materials we use on the homes react overtime, things like paints and primers, monitoring the efficiency and different components.”

German confirms all aspects have been double-checked by engineers, but highlights you never know what can happen over time.

That’s 612,000 bottles saved from the landfill.

At this stage, JD Composites has no competition in the field and high expectations for further development. But not just for the creation of homes. “If building one small home saved 612,000 bottles from going into the ocean or a landfill, what would a small community built entirely of the same material do for statistics and awareness!”

They are on the hunt for organizations with like-minded initiatives.

“We hope to land a few contracts constructing smaller type buildings, working with organizations that allow us to realize the full potential of the materials we’re using. We’re looking into many custom products such as hurricane proof housing, tiny homes, sheds/she-sheds, emergency shelters and composite decks.”

As for German and Saulnier, they are eager to take the next step. “Lots of opportunities lay ahead for us, the scalability of our operation is phenomenal. The materials we use are user friendly and allow for fast growth.”

Nova Scotia’s clean tech sector is abundant with opportunity. Learn more about companies like JD Composites or how you can get involved by subscribing to our newsletter.