Plastics in Construction: Clever stuff for smart building
Buildings account for around 40% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions which result from a combination of various factors like poor or no insulation, single-glazed windows, metal pipes that freeze and crack in winter, high heating requirements…
The processing, production, transportation and installing of construction material also has an effect on the environment and adds to the emissions.
Plastics have resource-efficiency designed into them and are more environment-friendly. The only way of making a sensible comparison is to look at a product’s impact, and beneficial contribution, over its whole lifetime. For example, you can save the energy it takes to produce a plastic insulation panel within just four months. And then the insulation will continue to save energy over its whole lifetime of use.
Plastics insulation takes up little space and last for decades. Just 1.6 cm of plastic insulation actually provides more insulation than a metre of concrete. Light, easy to transport and just as good a subsistitute for any material it replaces, plastics’ value can always be recovered at the end of their utility either by recycling into new products or by using it as a rich energy source in power generation.
The use of plastics in construction is growing: beautiful, long-lasting, low maintenance floors, washable wall coverings, even special paints and fireproof coatings – are all made using the latest, smart, plastic-based technologies.