Enduring impact

Words:
Douglas Weston
On behalf of

It’s always satisfying to see a tried and tested traditional material finding modern uses. And with rolled lead sheet, its virtues are aesthetic as much as practical. True, it has an admirably long lifespan – no problem specifying for a 60-year life or more, so life-cycle costs are impressive – but beyond this its malleability, colour and texture are finding new adherents. This is a material that can wrap around complex shapes in a way more rigid modern products cannot. And it ages very gracefully. 

To this, add its eco-credentials. Lead sheet enjoys a BRE Green Guide rating of A+ and A in vertical cladding and roofing applications. Its carbon footprint is considerably lower than, for instance, copper, zinc or stainless steel. Its low melting point means that when manufactured or recycled it requires far less energy than other metals. Being 100 per cent recyclable with zero degradation means it need never go to landfill. Practically all the lead sheet available in the UK has previously been recycled anyway from other sources, such as automotive industries.  This, then, is a zero-waste material. It requires no special handling beyond standard construction industry precautions, and is usually installed by skilled contractors backed by guarantee.

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