Featured on Fast Company:
At a time when extreme weather events seem to be relatively common, would you feel safe living in a home made out of recycled plastic? Affresol, a U.K. modular home designer, is betting on it. The company is launching a range of $63,000 prefab homes made out of recycled waste plastic. And believe it or not, Affresol claims the homes are well-insulated and completely waterproof, fire retardant, and rot-resistant.
Affresol’s secret is a material called Thermo Poly Rock (TPR), a strong, light form of concrete made out of plastic granules fused together with a chemical reaction. Any kind of plastic can be used, but Affresol is sourcing its waste from companies that make PVC windows and doors.
Each modular home features 40 TPR panels bolted together to make the load-bearing frame. Customers can choose to decorate the outside of the home with stone, brick, or block. The three bedroom house isn’t designed to last too long–it has a lifespan of approximately 60 years–but the whole thing can be recycled when it’s ready to be torn down.
Affresol is moving ahead in the next few months with a pilot of 19 prefab homes in Merthyr Tydfi, Wales. Three years down the line, the company hopes to build 3,000 homes each year. While the scheme is limited to the U.K. for now, we can imagine Affresol homes as a potential housing solution for countries looking to rebuild after a disaster–the homes are relatively cheap, durable, and can be built in just four days.