Looking at Buildings

, printed from the Looking at Buildings website on Sunday 22nd September 2019

Plastics

Post-warGlossary Term [1], this technology was applied to the priority rebuilding schemes. After 1945, with the development of lightweight aluminium frames, plastics were used for claddingGlossary Term [2] and interior walls which could be insulated as necessary.

pre-castGlossary Term [3] plastic components have been used to provide the materials for the whole structure of a building. FRP (fibre-reinforcedGlossary Term [4] plastic) and GRPGlossary Term [5](glass reinforcedGlossary Term [6] plastic) were the most suitable forms for this purpose. Corrugated sheets were employed for roofing but soon GRPGlossary Term [7] was developed for walling systems and for pre-casting and mouldingGlossary Term [8] entire sections for rapid assembly as, for example, low-cost housing units.

Into the present day plastics continue to be most widely used for essential components such as gutters, drains, sheeting for windows or entire window units. Many houses have had their timber or steel window frames replaced with plastic.

Although the 1970s saw the first large-scale buildings to use plastic as the principal building material it is only in more recent years that different forms of plastics have been developed to perform various functions. At the Space Centre in Leicester, the Rocket Tower is enveloped in an inflatable plastic coat of "pillows" held within a grid.

More about the National Space Centre  [9]

Eden Project

At the Eden Project in Cornwall a similar use is made of hexagonal inflated plastic sections which are inserted into the structure of the biomes. This makes it possible to replace them if worn out or damaged.

Read more about the roof of the Eden Project\'s biomes [10]

Last updated: Saturday, 13th November 2010