AG2 Building Services
Plastic pipe systems are ubiquitous in European building projects although they are not always easy to see. Applications in this area include hot & cold water, heating & cooling including underfloor heating, ventilation, air conditioning, sprinklers, and above ground drainage such as soil, waste, overflow and rainwater.
Plastic hot and cold plumbing systems offer many benefits. The pipe can be used straight from the coil and cut to length in situ. They are lighter in weight and easier to transport than metal materials. The ability to bend pipes to fit reduces jointing and wastage. Plastic pipes do not corrode and are resistant to the build-up of limescale. No mechanical noise results in a quieter system and hot pipes are cooler to the touch. Increased demands for energy efficient buildings have led to an increase in the installation of radiant surface heating systems such as underfloor heating and an increase in building insulation within the property. These well insulated buildings therefore also need ventilation and air conditioning. Plastic pipe systems are used extensively for these applications, not only in new building but increasingly in renovation projects. Specialised plastic piping systems are also increasingly used in highly aggressive industrial applications.
Governments are demanding increasingly sustainable building practices with energy efficiency and reduced environmental impact as key considerations. Plastic pipe systems are playing a huge part in delivering sustainable building practices. They have a long life performance, are easily recyclable, and in some applications recycled materials can be used in the manufacture of the plastic pipe systems. Unlike metal, plastic systems have no scrap value so they do not suffer extensively from theft from site. Raw material production is economical and energy consumption during manufacture is much lower than with traditional materials. Products are lighter in weight, therefore much more efficient to transport. This together with improved installation techniques has seen the market share of plastic systems increase over the years.