A cosier world with plastics!

A look into the future

The concept of a "three litre house” is already in place in France, Italy, Britain and Germany. This concept is not only feasible for new houses. The insulation of old buildings that waste a substantial amount of energy can cut the fuel oil or gas consumption from 20 litres to 3 litres per year and square metre. Applying plastic insulation panels of only 20 cm to the building’s exterior, roof and cellar ceiling as well as installing plastic insulating windows can save energy and, correspondingly, reduce CO2 emission. So-called Passive Houses with energy saving insulation windows, air heat recovery and solar panels have an annual demand for heat of less than 1.5 litres of fuel oil per square metre. An investment that improves the quality of living, increases the value of the building and delivers a rapid return on investment.

At present, "zero-energy houses”, are already tried and-tested throughout Europe. These houses consume no fossil fuel, i.e. gas or oil at all. It is partly due to the use of modern polymer materials that zero energy houses will become more widespread in the future. With plastics, even historical buildings can be converted into energy-saving houses. One perfect example of this is the renovation of a 210 year-old listed timber-framework building in Babenhausen/Germany. Thanks to insulation with plastics materials, this building is now a low-energy house.

Plastics from roof to cellar

Modern plastics are not only important for thermal insulation measures:

  • Plastic thermal insulation panels protect buildings from weather damage and increase the building’s durability.
  • Plastic heating, water and sewage pipes are vastly superior to conventional pipe systems: the production of plastic pipes is more cost-efficient and uses less energy; plastic pipes are more flexible than metal pipes, non-corrosive and guarantee high-quality drinking water.
  • Metal water pipes damaged by lime scale can be repaired by means of a special plastic-resin coating to protect the pipes from future lime scale damage.

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