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Zack Giffin, co-host of FYI network’s “Tiny House Nation“, has added yet another OMG notch in his teeny home tool belt —  home energy efficiency using plastics. Yes, plastics! The challenge for Giffin was to create the ultimate mini-mansion using innovative plastics technology that would reduce our environmental footprint. So, he partnered with Plastics Make It Possible to create a 200-square foot beacon of home energy efficiency using advanced building materials derived from plastics. “We have a small planet and we have a finite amount of resources”, said Giffin. “The deck, that’s all recycled building material. It’s got vinyl siding. We’ve got PVC trim. The door is actually recycled plastic. Rubber combination plastic flooring. Solar shingles on the roof that are made out of plastics. We’re using exterior foam insulation that goes a long way in terms of making this house more energy efficient,” added Giffin.



Not only was Giffin able to construct an energy efficient, environmentally friendly home, the petite plastic palace is intelligently designed, inside and out. True to his tiny house style, Giffin’s design included energy efficient appliances, exposed beams, and plenty of windows and open space. The balance of nature and down-home furnishings in this home are second only to the energy efficient housing system that Giffin constructed. “When I’m thinking about a tiny house I’m thinking about it as a system,” noted Giffin. “The main key is intelligent design. Everything has to work together. The solar panels work in conjunction with insulation as well as the insulation working in conjunction with the energy-star appliances.” From insulation to the barn-red vinyl siding, this weeny home is big on energy efficiency, thanks in part to super smart plastics. 



For Giffin, the challenge of building an energy efficient tiny home by re-thinking the sustainability and environmental benefits of plastics was just the beginning of the journey. Creating a thoughtful blend of man and nature and exploring the open road in the creation, that is what the project was really all about. “To me, it’s going out into these amazing places that brings it home and makes it so apparent why we need to fight for this planet,” said Giffin. “Nothing in this world is going to change without the cooperation of the very large entities. All the manufacturers of the all the building materials, it’s up to them to really start thinking about it. Fortunately, we have a lot of manufacturers who are paying attention. Plastics does make it possible and it’s going to be a big piece of energy efficiency now and in the future.” And, thanks to innovative partnerships between environmentally cool builders like Giffin and manufacturers who are dedicated to creating sustainable building materials, the plastics that built a tiny home today may be the foundation for larger eco-friendly construction tomorrow.


American Chemistry Council Tiny House Build in Boulder, Colo., Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. (Jack Dempsey/AP Images for the American Chemistry Council)













Below is more information about the building products used to create Zack’s energy efficient tiny house:

[1] Spray polyurethane foam courtesy of Dow Building Solutions and the Center for the Polyurethane Industries (CPI) and

[2] Polyiso foam insulation Thermasheath-3 and RSeal construction tape courtesy of Rmax Operating, LLCAxiom Communications Group and Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA).

[3] Dow POWERHOUSE™ Solar Shingles courtesy of Dow Building Solutions and Dow Solar Field Operations.

[4] WASCO skylight courtesy of Wasco Products, Inc. and Covestro.

[5] Windows courtesy of TILTCO, A DIVISION OF WINDOWORLD INDUSTRIES, INC., and the American Architectural Manufacturers Association.

[6] Vinyl siding and trim courtesy of Associated MaterialsThe Vinyl Siding Institute, Inc. National Housing Center, and the Vinyl Institute.

[7] Jeld-Wen Architectural Fiberglass door courtesy of Covestro and Innovation Exhibits, Ohio.

[8] Polyethylene cross-linked (PEX) pipe courtesy of Uponor and the Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association. Pipe installed is Acme-Cash.

[9] Luxury vinyl flooring courtesy of Metroflor and the Vinyl Institute.



About The Author
Tina Tyler
Tina Tyler is a veteran broadcast news anchor/reporter. Tyler is the founder and CEO of TINA ON TECH where she serves as producer and host of the weekly syndicated podcast TINA ON TECH and Editor-in-Chief for the TINA ON TECH website. Tyler is also a contributing writer for Tyler is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Tyler is the only African American female TV host, writer, producer, and owner of technology-themed content.

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