THE PLASTICS HOUSE (above left) was described as "a revolutionary type" at a Building Research Institute Plastics Study Conference at the University of Michigan in November by Richard Hamilton, director of the M.I.T. plastics research project (sponsored by Monsanto Chemical Co.), and Marvin Goody, staff architect who created the design.
The basic element of the house will be an 8- by 16-ft plastic modular unit molded in a U shape, with one side serving as the floor, one side as the ceiling and roof, and the bottom as the outer wall. The unit could, of course, be molded to larger dimensions, or smaller, but 8 ft is the maximum height that can be trans- ported, according to shipping regulations. In the simplest plan, pairs of units can be joined and cantilevered from a 16-ft square utility core, which will contain bath, kitchen, laundry and heating facilities. A minimum of site excavation will be necessary for the concrete-based core. A variety of floor plans is possible with combinations of the design components and the addition of one or more cores.
The actual plastic material from which the house will be fabricated have not been determined as yet. However, it is likely that the U-shaped modular unit will be formed by reinforced plastic sheets sandwiched around foamed plastic. A variety of transparent and translucent plastic panel will be used on both the exterior and interior of the house. Conduits, piping and ducts, much of it integrally formed into wall and floor sections, will be made of flexible and corrosion-resistant plastic. Still the most perplexing problem confronting the research staff is the method of joining the modular units. It is likely that gaskets and stripping of extruded plastic will be used.