© 2017 by European Plastics Converters

Designed & Managed by Polymer Comply Europe

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Building & Construction

Building & Construction materials represent over the 10 million tonnes of plastic products in the European market. They are increasingly replacing traditional materials due to their inherent benefits.

Most plastics are not only easy to maintain - or even require no maintenance at all - they also have a very long lifespan and therefore enable  our economy to safe valuable resources.

 

Plastics also make a great contribution to the saving of energy, as plastic foams are widely used for thermal insulation. Should the end of their lifecycle finally be reached, are the plastic products used for construction well recyclable. 

Scroll down to read more about the advantages and many applications of plastics in the building and construction sector.

Advantages of Plastics in Construction

Plastics serve a long time

With an assumed average working life of 35 years, technical depreciation of plastics occurs at the low rate of 2.85% per year. Plastics in the construction industry hence allow for an very economical use of resources.

Plastics require little to zero maintenance

As most plastics are either easy to maintain or require no maintenance at all, they also achieve first-class marks in the evaluation of their life-cycle. Compared to alternative materials in the building industry, plastics usually do well in environmental assessments.

The use of plastics allows the saving of valuable resources

Plastics also make a great contribution to the saving of energy: Plastic foams are used widely for thermal insulation of house walls, floors, roofing, pipes and many other applications.Without such plastic thermal insulation, the high targets adopted by the world community for CO2 reduction could not be realised.

Plastics many qualities make them incomparably versatile

Plastics have more different properties than most other building materials, which enables their use in most versatile applications. PVC for example is one of the most used plastic materials in building and construction, thanks to its outstanding properties such as glass-like transparency, abrasion resistance, resistance to sunlight, waterproofness, and resistance to low temperatures as well as acids, chemicals and washing or cleaning agents. 

Plastics have a good recyclability

In addition to saving resources, their low maintenance cost, their versatile properties and their ability to save resources, plastic materials used in building and construction have a good recyclability. Especially mono-plastic materials such as pipes and window frames are easily recyclable.

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16%

energy savings compared to alternative insulation materials.

30 - 50

years lifespan of plastics in construction

80%

 less consumption due to proper insulation

Usages of Plastics in Construction

Pipework

Plastic pipes can be used for underfloor heating systems which provide constant room temperature whilst saving energy, not only for gas, but also solar and geothermal energy. Underground plastic pressure pipes are widely used throughout Europe to supply gas for heating and cooking, as they are a safer, more reliable and more cost effective alternative to tradition materials.

Roofing

Thermoplastic roofing membranes are available in a wide range of materials with a multitude of fastening methods and offer maximum design freedom. With highly tear-resistant re-enforcements they are tension-resistant yet sufficiently flexible. In terms of dimensional stability, thermoplastic waterproofing systems are unmatched, withstanding extreme temperatures when other systems have long failed

Flooring

Plastic floor coverings have many advantages, as they have a long lifetime, require minimum maintenance and are extraordinarily hygienic. Cast floors for example are completely flat floors that consist of a cast two-component epoxy resin or polyurethane. Because of their long lifetime and resistance they are often used for industrial applications, but on account of their maintenance-friendliness and their fine appearance, they are gaining ground in shops, showrooms and offices as well. Vinyl floors also have specific advantages, as they form a resilient plastic floor covering and can be installed as readily and as easily as carpet.

Polycarbonate Sheets

The light weight of  polycarbonate sheets makes them easy to install, while their high impact resistance make them a durable option. Its durability combined with transparency also make polycarbonate sheets an excellent alternative to glass, especially combined with their capacity for UV filtration. Polycarbonate sheets are frequently used in signs and displays as they can easily be thermoformed and printed on. Their rigidity and shatter resistance ensure a long life and also make them ideal for glazing posters and billboards.

Windows

Plastic windows are made of molten PVC that is extruded into the form of a profile. Once cooled down, these are cut into the appropriate length and joined together for the shape of the window. Reinforcement sections are fixed inside the profiles to provide additional strength if so required. PVC windows are durable and easy to maintain. The variety of designs and colours in combination with the insulation values that can be achieved with double and triple glazing, make them the preferred choice of window for developers, renovators, planners and architects. 

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"I believe that architecture is a pragmatic art. To become art it must be built on a foundation of necessity."

I.M. Pei, Chinese American Architect