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Building Products January 2018

NEW BUILD JANUARY 2018 | BUILDING PRODUCTS 17 movement, so the systems last longer and require less maintenance. Steel will not crack or corrode, or leak at joints that have become compromised over time. The material’s excellent durability should also see it last as long as the building itself. With the cost of steel broadly similar to plastic, it makes little difference to the overall cost of a project, so it’s an ideal option for any scale development. Design Flexibility Guttering and downpipes can be designed to fit unobtrusively along the roofline or to make a statement with striking colour notes to frame an entire aspect. Steel can match a contemporary or an industrial look, and for developers wanting creativity in design and style, the flexibility of metal system manufacture means bespoke design is more accessible and cost-effective. The cost of extrusion tools and mouldings for plastic rainwater systems are extremely expensive and the lead times are long, so it isn’t practical to consider short-run bespoke designs. In contrast, the extrusion tooling and moulds for steel rainwater systems are far easier, quicker and cheaper to make and modify. So for new build developers, this means easier, quicker and cheaper unique pieces designed and produced for them, for either design aesthetics or practical reasons. Choosing steel can give you product differentiation and market edge. Colour trends Steel systems are usually supplied in a pre-coated polyester coloured finish or a long life, anticorrosion galvanised finish. Increasingly however, the trend is to colour. There is a colour revolution among Britain’s homeowners – a trend that is gaining particular traction in windows, doors, conservatories and roofline. In the first two decades after World War II, Britain’s housing stock was in a very poor state, and it was not until the late 1970s that homeowners began to replace their failing timber windows and doors in any significant volume. The replacement windows, first in aluminium and then in PVC-U, tended to be white or the occasional brown or woodgrain. So Britain’s housing stock changed from what had once been painted in a rainbow of colours to mostly white. But in the last 10 years windows and doors of all materials – timber, aluminium, PVC and composites – are offering homeowners, housebuilders and developers a very wide choice of colour. And homeowners are choosing colour whenever it’s offered. Anthracite grey steel gutters and downpipes are becoming particularly popular, matching the huge demand for anthracite grey windows and doors. But homeowners are also choosing from a wide colour palette for both traditional and contemporary buildings. Contemporary designs can use a striking moss green or copper brown, for example. Steel gives the additional reassurance of colour-security for the life of the product, not one that fades away, along (potentially) with the developer’s reputation. With more demand for domestic housing in the UK, including the trends for higher performance standards and aesthetic choice, we believe that the rise in the interest and use of steel rainwater is set to continue. To meet the twin challenges of climate change, with its more destructive weather patterns, and changing tastes in design and colour, specifications will continue to evolve, reflecting the real need to protect and enhance our properties in the future. For this new build sector, steel can add impact to a building to boost interest and sales. At the same time it provides a high-performance, low maintenance product for the lifetime of the property. Investing in reliability and longevity is also, surely, a contribution to the image and reputation of the construction industry itself. www.alumascrainwater.co.uk Choosing steel can give you product differentiation and market edge


Building Products January 2018
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