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One of the oldest and most durable building materials Lead has been known to last for more than 500 years Lead is the most recycled and recovered building material in use today. It will last longer and age more beautifully than any of its synthetically produced substitutes. Lead is more environmentally friendly than alternatives made by the petro-chemical industry - even its reclamation is energy efficient.
Today's alternatives can fail within 20 years. The types of material used and the methods of manufacture mean they are destined for early replacement Ð this means they have both a negative cost and environmental impact. Sustainable development is at the heart of most government's environmental policies these days. By maximising recycling, minimising waste and through sheer longevity, Lead is unbeatable as an example of a sustainable building material. A thriving Lead industry not only keeps thousands of people employed; it also helps keep alive the traditional arts of construction that have given Europe some of the world's most beautiful buildings. It won't cost the Earth Lead lasts longer than other materials that could be considered as its substitutes.
Its fail rate is negligible and its resistance to corrosion by the atmosphere means that Lead Sheet will outlast any alternative building materials making it best value, both in monetary and environmental terms. Newly installed Lead Sheet forms a surface film of protective oxides in the form of a patina that is both strongly adhering and highly insoluble. Any low levels of corrosion by products leaving the surface of the roof are extremely small and become highly diluted with rainwater.
As Lead naturally binds to the soil, the combination of correctly designed roofs with gutters with drainage points plus the virtually undetectable discharge levels means that bio-availability within the eco-system is extremely limited. So while Lead may at first appear marginally more expensive, in terms of longevity and ecology, (a significant factor in the light of possible future eco-taxes on building materials) it still offers best value, and of course, also has a far greater aesthetic value.
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