Innovative Plastic Building Materials at the National Association of Home Builders Show

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Plastics Make It Possible® attended the 2012 International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Fla., to check out innovative plastic building materials. We uncovered some interesting new ways that plastics enable building industry professionals to create more sustainable, convenient and functional homes.

Plastic Building Materials Let the Sun Shine In

Home features that provide natural light are becoming more popular—even in basements. For example, RockWell Inc. creates plastic window wells to bring more natural light into dark basements. Because they’re made to look like stone, they have a high-end feel, but with the benefits of plastic construction: they’re durable, UV-stable, resistant to extreme temperatures and won’t rust or rot. With built-in steps, the window wells can even assist your family’s escape in an emergency.

Recharge Your Batteries with these Innovative Building Materials

CurrentWerks has created plastic electrical faceplates that make charging your electronics more convenient. By adding USB ports to typical AC electrical outlets, you can plug in your USB powered devices and regular electronics—and use or recharge everything at the same time. The ports draw no standby (vampire) power when not in use.

 Plastic Building Materials that Mix Beauty with Functionality

Sterling uses a new plastic composite material—an economical, beautiful, and convenient alternative to traditional porcelain—to create sinks, baths, showers and whirlpools. Vikrell® is a pressure- and heat-molded material made with a mixture of polyester plastic and glass-reinforced plastics. Fixtures made with this material are lighter and easier to install than porcelain, according to the manufacturer. The color is integrated with the material so any chips blend in, and the material is stain- and heat-resistant.

These Innovative Building Materials Pave the Way

AZEK VAST® Composite Pavers made with recycled plastics allow you to create durable and affordable patios, driveways, and walkways in less time. The product’s installation system allows contractors (or do-it-yourselfers) to simply insert pavers into a grid system, which keeps the pavers neatly aligned to reduce installation time by more than 65 percent, according to the manufacturer. Made with up to 95 percent recycled materials, the pavers are strong, durable, and look like concrete. The manufacturer claims they require 94 percent less energy to make than concrete—paving their way to sustainability.

To see more innovative plastic building materials, check out our photo gallery.

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Valspar® Signature Colors acrylic latex paint was used in this live demonstration to showcase how one coat of paint provides secure adhesion and color accuracy.

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JM ComfortTherm insulation is wrapped in plastic to help ensure a cleaner, more comfortable install process.

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EcoStud, an insulating wall system, offers an innovative and practical plastic framing solution for interior, non-weight bearing walls.

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Twisted Top, a uniquely shaped plastic spout, can adhere to adjustable nozzles to assist with caulking in and around small corners, such as behind toilets, underneath sinks, tops of doorways and other awkward angles.

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Just because you have a small space doesn’t mean you can't have energy-efficient appliances. Ariston provides consumers with energy-efficient appliances to fit in those unique and small places of your home.

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Plastic recessed dryer vent boxes allow dryers to be pushed up against the wall of a laundry room, saving you space and helping to prevent duct crushing! This innovative design also provides users with an oval-to-round duct adapter that requires no clamps for installation.

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CurrentWerks, an in-wall, two-port USB charger with AC outlet in one that draws no standby (vampire) power when its "tamper-resistant" door is closed.

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RockWell's™ window wells made with plastics help transform basements into luxurious retreats!

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Bathwraps provide an easy and beautiful solution to your bath problems. These acrylic liners are durable, mold-resistant, and low maintenance and can be installed over existing tubs and walls.

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Made from up to 95 percent recycled materials, VAST Composite Pavers have introduced an innovative and technologically advanced paver alternative to the industry.

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For homeowners who are trying to find a place to safely store furniture cushions and covers, umbrellas or other deck items, AZEK Building Products, built with PVC plastic, has an innovative solution: an In-Deck Storage Kit! Unlike typical unattractive deck storage boxes, the In-Deck Storage Kit can be concealed discretely within any deck!

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Vikrell® Advanced Composite is pressure- and heat-molded from a mixture of polyester resin and fiberglass. This innovative building material is economical, easy to clean, and lightweight.