Thermoplastic roofing and waterproofing membranes make ecological and economic sense
Minimum input of raw materials for maximum performance - that's one way of summing up thermoplastic roofing and waterproofing membranes. There are a number of factors in their favour, and the following profile highlights the most important ones.
Although only 4% of the mineral oil consumed in Central Europe goes into the production of plastics, environmental protection is still an important subject for producers of thermoplastic roofing and waterproofing membranes. This is why so much attention is focused on durability and the responsible treatment of raw materials in the production process.
Careful treatment of raw materials:
The durable waterproofing of roofs is the best form of environmental protection. With a relatively low input of materials, single-ply thermoplastic roofing and waterproofing membranes give buildings lasting protection. Even after 20 years' service in demanding environmental conditions, thermoplastic roofing membranes are fully functional. This has been demonstrated by expert opinions. A low input of materials is also a decisive factor in production. Because thermoplastic roofing membranes with the usual thickness of 1.5 mm retain their full function for a very long period. In order to cut down on the input of raw materials still further, manufacturers have been encouraging the recycling of used membranes with the aim of returning them to the production cycle. The possibility of separating pure-grade materials, particularly if the membranes are mechanically fastened or loose-laid, is a great help to this strategy.
An ecological construction material profile includes environment-friendly behaviour throughout its life. Thermoplastic roofing and waterproofing membranes represent a toxicological threat to the environment neither in production, nor during laying, nor after many years of service. Not only their formulation, but also their production, laying and disposal meet the requirements of environmental and health protection. Thermoplastic membranes are produced on modern lines with the advantage of accurately controllable properties and precise reproducibility combined with comprehensive documentation and hence verifiability. In this respect they are superior to any "natural product".
Low energy input:
During production, storage, transport, laying and recycling, the energy input is low. Compared with other roofing materials the energy input in production alone for what is usually only 1.5 mm thick membranes is minimal. With singly-ply laying and minimum membrane thickness, the waterproofing material occupies little volume during transport and also helps to cut energy consumption here as well.
Membrane cut-offs arising during the production of thermoplastic roofing and waterproofing membranes can be returned in their entirety into production without loss of quality and thus replace valuable raw materials. Cuttings from the construction site are also taken back by the manufacturer and returned to the production process to reduce the drain on resources. Manufacturers have been taking back and recycling used material since 1994.
Today the recycling functions under the name of ROOFCOLLECT®, recycling system for thermoplastic roofing and waterproofing membranes. ROOFCOLLECT works with different recycling partners in Europe, depending on the nature of the material, the country and the regional conditions. The recycling strategy of the companies belonging to ESWA has already proven successful; it not only looks good on paper, but also works efficiently in practice. For more information visit our multilingual website: www.roofcollect.com
In terms of service life, input of resources and ecological assessment, thermoplastic roofing and waterproofing membranes are vastly superior to conventional waterproofing systems. They are the modern materials of today for lasting, reliable and environmentally compatible waterproofing systems for roofs.