Affresol: Prefab Houses Made From Plastic Landfill
It may well be the ugliest house we have shown on TreeHugger, and it is made of garbage, too. But Ian McPherson of Welsh startup Affresol takes plastic waste, grinds it down to little granules. They then mix it with liquid resin and pour it like concrete into panels, which they call Thermo Poly Rock (TPR).
BBC coverage of home, with strange musical interlude added on
The panels are then bolted together to make a load bearing frame, which is then clad on the outside and drywalled on the inside. Each house diverts 18 tons of plastic from the landfill and McPherson says it is "TPR is stronger and lighter than concrete, waterproof, fire retardant, does not rot and has excellent insulation properties." The panels have a u value of 0.17, which converts to an American R-Value of 33, so it is certainly a good insulator. He tells UK Investment:
"[We] believe there is tremendous potential for this new product particularly with the growing focus on carbon reduction, low energy affordable homes and sustainability. Every country in the world has issues with waste and we now have an opportunity to turn waste into an enduring housing resource that is 100% recyclable."
There are some concerns among commenters on sites like Building about fire safety; the panels appear to be plastic scrap in in a thermoset resin, poured into a ring beam frame; they say it is "fire retardant" but not fireproof, and would have to be completely protected by drywall.