Last year our Plastics Make it Possible® campaign built a tiny house to demonstrate the role plastic building materials play in increasing energy efficiency. We unveiled the house at the California Science Center in LA, where more than 25,000 visitors saw it firsthand. This year, we decided to take a road trip and took the tiny house to the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA.
In the few months it’s been at the Carnegie Science Center, the house has been a big hit. Visitors are impressed and who wouldn’t be? The tiny house features a wide range of plastic building materials that help make the house so energy efficient, including:
- Spray polyurethane foam insulation, which expands to seal corners and cracks in walls and attics.
- Extruded polystyrene foam, which provides additional insulation beneath the tiny house’s floor.
- Water-resistant plastic caulking and sealants, which helps fill gaps around pipes, air ducts, and other places where outside air can enter a house.
- Solar power shingles, which use the sun to generate energy for the house.
- Vinyl siding and trim, which provide an additional barrier between indoors and out.
All these materials work together to create a “building envelope” that creates a continuous barrier between the house and outside elements, including heat, cold, air, water, light, and noise.
Another great thing about these plastic building materials? They can help reduce energy consumption in any size house – you don’t need to live in a 200-square-foot house to reap the energy efficiency benefits of plastics.
The house is on display at the Carnegie Science Center through September 11. Where is the tiny house going next? We’re not sure yet, but we do know that no matter the terrain or climate of the house’s next stop, the house will be able to efficiently weather the elements…all thanks to building products made possible by plastics.