By Alex BurdaSource Google NewsPublished May 11, 2018 11:40:48When you think of building a home or office, you probably think of the kind of design that you want it to look like, with a strong, rectangular structure that can withstand the elements.
But new research suggests the kind that’s popular these days may not be so simple after all.
Researchers at the University of Southampton have found that aluminium pipe is more likely to contribute to the environment if it’s made of conical or flat-shaped material, which are more prone to weathering and moulding.
While the researchers were surprised to find this, the results do support their hypothesis that the more durable the materials used in pipes, the more likely they are to be used in homes.
It means that, if you’re looking to build a home for your family or business, and you’re worried about the environmental impact, you might want to consider the more environmentally friendly option of aluminium pipe instead of the more conventional conical type.
The study was led by Professor David Willett, who studies the health of buildings at the Southampton University of Technology and Design.
He said the findings were important as it means the new technology could be used to protect homes from weathering, mould, and environmental pollution.
“Aluminium pipe has been shown to be more resilient than steel pipes in extreme weather and has the potential to be a more environmentally-friendly alternative to concrete in buildings that have to cope with extreme weather events,” Professor Willett said.
“We’re hoping that this new research will be useful in the design of future homes, as it may be possible to make a pipe that can take the heat of a winter storm and use it to power your home.”
For the study, Professor Willet and his team collected data from more than 200 properties in the South East of England.
They found that on average, aluminium pipes were rated as having a better quality of construction and durability, compared to steel pipe.
“While we didn’t have the ability to actually compare the properties in terms of the environmental impacts of the pipe, it is possible that we can compare the quality of the properties across the different types of pipe,” Professor Joanna Burden, from the Institute of Applied Environmental Sciences at Southampton, said.
Professor Willett and his colleagues then examined the pipe’s ability to withstand extreme weather conditions.
They compared the pipe to steel, which had a lower environmental impact but higher costs.
The researchers found that the aluminium pipe was more likely than the steel pipe to withstand the winter storm in the south of England and the South Atlantic, which was the area with the most extreme weather.
“This is a very significant finding,” Professor Burden said.
This is because aluminium pipes tend to be made from lower grade materials and are more likely for the pipe not to be subjected to extreme weather, such as the Atlantic winter storm.
“They can be more durable and stronger, so they’re more likely if you have a lot of houses in the area,” she said.
The research has implications for building codes, the way people construct their homes, and the way the environment is managed.
“The results suggest that the use of aluminium pipes is a good way to build buildings and that the environmental and health impacts of building materials should be considered in building design,” Professor Cusack said.
A new study suggests aluminium pipes are more environmentally compatible than steel pipeBut there are still some unanswered questions about the study’s results, including whether the aluminium used in the pipes was actually more durable.
“To get a more realistic comparison of environmental impacts, we need to investigate the properties to make sure that the properties are comparable across different types and sizes of pipes,” Professor Gervase O’Malley, from University College London, said, adding that the results were a good starting point to look at building codes in the UK.
“One of the things we need is more research into how aluminium pipes work and how they are used, so that the code is properly considering these issues.”
It would be interesting to see if there is a similar effect with conical pipes, or whether they might have a different environmental impact.
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