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Colorcoat Connection® FAQ’s – End-of-life

1 August 2007 No Comment

Q. What are the options available, in terms of the building envelope,  when a building comes to the end of its current life that are designed to either extend its life further or ensure it is disposed of safely and with minimum impact both economically and environmentally?end of life

A. The problem of disposing of construction materials at the end of a building’s useful life is an ever-increasing concern. One of the key benefits of pre-finishedsteel-based cladding systems is the inherent recyclability of steel, but there are always other components in a cladding system to consider too. The Three main areas of focus are:


Cherry pickerRefurbishment offers a well proven method for extending the life of the pre-finishedsteel building envelope either through overpainting, overcladding or recladding. Re-use Built-up systems which are easy to disassemble are more frequently re-used, mainly in agricultural applications. There is very little re-use of factory insulated composite panels (foam filled or mineral wool) mainly because of specific fixing requirements and the need for careful removal of panels which can take extra time. Reduced timescales for building demolition and the impact of Work at Height Regulations 2005, mean that re-use rates are likely to reduce further.

Recycling /disposal Built-up systems

  • A well established process is in place for handling built-up systems at end of life which is easy and cost effective.

Factory insulated foam filled composite panels

  • Different recycling / disposal options need to be considered because of the potential risk of ozone depleting or global warming potential gases being released if not handled appropriately. Panels need to be treated carefully during demolition to ensure no release of gases. There is little industry experience in handling factory insulated foam filled composite panels at end of life. However, there will be a significant increase in the amounts coming through in the next 10 years.

For more detailed information, the RIBA approved, Colorcoat Technical Paper – End of life options for pre-finished steel buildings – is now available to download here

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