Polycarbonate: combining freedom of design with environmental benefits
Tuesday, May 10, 2016 — In today’s world it is new buildings must comply with the energy-efficient and environmental restrictions. Nevertheless, materials with which they are made shall enable architects and designers to deliver outstanding and memorable projects. Combining the ‘green’ aspect with the ‘design’ aspect is not an easy task, however, polycarbonate (PC) is the material that performs extremely well in both of this roles.
Polycarbonate is a versatile material which offers architects and builders many possibilities via which they can maximize energy efficiency while providing greater design freedom, enhanced aesthetics and cost reductions. Polycarbonate sheets can provide important sustainability benefits, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved energy efficiency. They contribute as well to an increased daylight exposure and their lightweight affects transportation costs and CO2 emissions. Additionally, PC sheets reduce resources consumption thanks to their extended lifespan.
How does polycarbonate combine freedom in design with environmental benefits?
When creating a design on the cutting edge, finding a material that will make the idea a reality can be a challenge. PC sheet enables wide-ranging design freedom due to an ability to be cold formed and thermoformed without losing impact or weathering properties. Even highly complex structures can be made with polycarbonate.
Polycarbonate sheet has an excellent reputation for maintaining coloring and strength over time, even in stressful conditions. Multiwall polycarbonate sheet, which is virtually unbreakable – is able to resist hail impact and withstand storm wind loads.
Compared to traditional glazing materials, multiwall polycarbonate sheet products can deliver exceptional thermal insulation to enhance energy conservation and reduce associated emissions. Multiwall structure of the PC sheet creates additional air pockets between the exterior and interior of the building while enhancing strength and stiffness. This configuration helps the material deliver energy efficiency year round while transmitting diffused daylight.
The cost of construction is an important feature not to be overlooked. From transport to onsite breakage, financial losses and ecological impacts of installation can rise dramatically if builders select the wrong material. Polycarbonate sheet offers weight savings of more than 50 % compared to glass at the same thickness. Multiwall sheet delivers even greater weight savings. When compared with 6 mm wired glass, 10 mm multiwall sheet offers a weight savings of more than 85 %. Lighter weight leads to significant fuel savings in transportation and makes handling easier.
Polycarbonate is an innovative material which allows architects and builders to create structures that are original, practical, and sustainable. Cost-efficient and flexible in its design capabilities and versatility, polycarbonate sheet is positioned to help meet the demand for energy-efficient buildings. As the next great architectural challenges arise, the use of polycarbonate sheet will likely increase.
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