The Materials Book

Cheap, Recyclable Facades: When kept separate from other materials, even polymers can be sustainable A plastic facade wouldn’t typically be on anyone’s list of sustainable materials. But in certain contexts, these translucent, insulating polycarbonate sheets make sense. The panels are available in various thicknesses, offer thermal insulation similar to that of a brick wall seven times as thick, and are relatively inexpensive. Though they come with a comparably short ten-year warranty, they typically last much longer, which makes them a good fit for low-cost buildings. And since the sheets aren’t usually attached to other materials, the polycarbonate can be melted and recycled when it’s time to replace the facade. Example: Nine-chamber Multi Wall Sheets Rodeca, seen in Brunnenstraße 9, Berlin Contributed by: Brandlhuber+, Germany 302

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