Plastic is considered one of the most versatile materials on earth. The use of plastic materials in buildings, for both decoration and construction, continues to increase. Today, materials made of plastic are widely used in the building industry with many of their products meeting numerous building and fire regulations. Here are four alternative uses where you could implement plastic building materials for green building solutions.
Many buildings and conservatories have used corrugated plastic sheeting to construct their roofs because of their transparent nature. However, more recently, double and triple polycarbonate sheeting use for roofing systems has increased because they provide diffused daylight for illumination, as well as heat insulation to help reduce heating costs. Polycarbonate is a robust thermoplastic material that is exceptionally lightweight and one that can withstand extremely high and low temperatures, according to Mac Morgan Asphalte Co. Ltd. The properties of polycarbonate panels make them the preferred building material used in the construction of greenhouses.
Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride (uPVC) products are frequently used in place of the more traditional products that are used for external cladding panels, soft boards, and fascia. This is especially true with new construction. uPVC provides many advantages including being resistance to rot, being of a lighter weight, resistant to warping, and a decrease in the need for regular maintenance painting. These products are available in many different colours, including a wood grain finish.
Thermal and Sound Insulation
When it came to general noise being transmitted through the walls and floors of buildings, the traditional method for dealing with this was to build very thick walls, which were often extremely heavy. However, over the years, buildings have become lighter, making the need to develop other methods of sound insulation necessary. Today, sound insulation can be provided by rubber and plastic materials.
Along with more lightweight sound insulation techniques, thermal insulation is also an area where plastic building materials can be used. The typical foamed plastic that is used in many construction projects today includes rigid polyurethane foam and expanded polystyrene. Using polyurethane foam as building insulation can help to reduce the loss of heat to conserve energy, stands up to intense heat and extreme cold, and can help to create a sound barrier to control noise, according to the American Chemistry Council.
Plastic lumber has become a durable, outdoor staple, that is often made from HDPE recycling or other flexible plastic wraps, like grocery bags. Recycled plastic lumber, looks similar to wood, but is more resistant to moisture and insects. It is used to build fences, decks, railings, and swimming pool enclosures. Not only do the buildings made with recycled plastic lumber look great, but they last a lot longer than their wood counterparts. These kinds of materials also help to keep discarded plastic out of our landfills and oceans.
Plastic building materials are taking over the construction industry. Not only are they being used to build stronger and more lightweight buildings, but they are helping to reduce the impact discarded plastics have on the environment. The next time you’re looking to complete a construction project around your home, consider using one of the many recycled plastic building materials on the market today.