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Iron and copper: “More sustainable than modern materials”

612336_witch_series_1.jpgGreenbang has an image of Saruman’s fortress in his mind. (That’s Saruman from the Lord of the Rings – not pictured, left).

He wasn’t really considered a sustainable producer of goods and services, but a blemish on the  environment. He’d be laughing now though, with the amount of  plastics  and man-made complex polymers.  He’s have looked greener than Swampy, the modern-day road-construction protester.

This all comes from these chaps, Tuscan Foundry Products, who have done some ‘research’ that says, the whole life cost of copper and cast iron rainwater products is a third of that of PVC and Aluminium over a 100 year life cycle.

“Results showed that copper and cast iron has higher capital cost than PVC and aluminium but their whole life costs over a 100 year life cycle are only 35% of that of PVC and aluminium. The report demonstrates that both materials also have a significantly lower impact in terms of energy consumption and CO2 emissions than PVC and aluminium.

By using base data the report, written by Tim Pullen, eco-editor for Homebuilding and Renovating magazine, compares the key issues relating to each material over a 100 year life cycle for a standard house.

“The disposable age, so far as houses are concerned, is over. The ‘Lifetime Homes’ section embodied in the Government’s Code of Sustainable Homes (compulsory for new houses from April 2008), encourages the builder to design a house and use materials that will serve the needs of the occupier for his/her whole life; ” says Tim Pullen.

From an environmental aspect, the report shows that cast iron and copper are much greener than modern materials. 80% of cast iron is recycled, 55% of copper is recycled and only 33% of aluminium is recycled. Due to the complex procedure involved in recycling PVC, there are no reported post plants in the UK.”

Conveniently, the research echoes a business message of the company. But it’s interesting nevertheless.

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