ETFE usage has grown immensely over the past few years within the architectural community. As a lightweight material, it was not always taken seriously when it came to full-scale projects. The shift has begun to take place as more architects and contractors realize that it can be used to replace a wide range of more costly materials. The reasons for its increased popularity go well beyond cost, though.
Let’s take a closer look at the many reasons why ETFE has taken the architectural world by storm:
As more architects and contractors look to design buildings that do not cause long-term environmental damage, ETFE is only going to continue to become more popular. ETFE’s usage may surprise those who already knew that this material was not biodegradable but on the other hand? It is 100 percent recyclable. The material’s properties give it a life span expectancy that few others can match.
It is not affected by exposure to UV rays. Atmospheric pollution does not cause any long-term damage, either. Weather conditions are not an issue, either. For builders in less moderate climates, this is a major plus. While the oldest ETFE project is on the brink of turning 40, these buildings are expected to last for 100 years at least. This minimizes the need for recycling.
What About The Manufacturing Process?
Some may worry that the manufacturing process is not environmentally friendly. This is a fair point of view but it is not one that is supported by the facts at hand. If there is any excess material that cannot be used during an initial ETFE project, it is easily reusable. There are no solvents, either. Since ETFE is lightweight, the supporting structure is also more lightweight.
Reducing the number of materials that are used during the building process is a great way to reduce the amount of waste that is being created. This is a major boon for the environment. The carbon footprint is reduced and the smooth material is anti-adhesive, thus reducing the need for regular cleaning. Chemicals and solvents are naturally absorbed with ease.
Handles All Climate Conditions
As more and more scholars start to look into the effects of climate change and how ETFE can help, more architects are starting to realize the necessity of this material. Buildings have to be designed with the future in mind and ETFE will play a major role going forward. This building material’s ability to withstand extreme heat and extreme cold cannot be ignored in these instances.
In addition to being able to handle these massive shifts in temperature, ETFE has also shown a certain capability when it comes to dealing with extreme weather conditions. Contractors and architects are enamored with its ability to withstand heavy snow and wind, making it a must for the cooler climates.
Increased Fire Safety
This is one of the primary selling points for ETFE usage and rightfully so. In the event of a fire, these buildings are well prepared for any issues that may come their way. ETFE is not as flammable as other building materials that may be used and it even has self-extinguishing properties.
How does this work? ETFE will shrink back from the plume of smoke once the fire has broken out, which serves as effective ventilation during these perilous moments. The substance’s chemical properties also ensure that those who are standing beneath the building if a fire breaks out are not pelted with any molten materials. In many instances, these materials may fall down onto the streets below and cause numerous additional hazards.