Building a sustainable future

On 1 March 2012, Stephen Long and Arjen Sevenster, experts from the Building&Construction sector will be answering questions of teachers and pupils on how innovative materials can help create highly performing buildings with low energy demands and thus, protect the climate.

The experts will also be telling about some of the most innovative building projects worldwide. For more information on the experts, press here.

The purpose of this chat is to give the students an understanding of how innovation is contributing to develop plastic materials in B&C sector and how innovative plastic materials have an impact in saving energy, resources and protecting the environment.

Themes you may wish to cover include:

Innovation in Plastic materials is increasingly used to make B&C sector more energy efficient.

• How innovation in B&C sector allows plastic materials to increase the insulation inside houses and building. E.g. Plastic windows can have low thermal conductivity, reducing indoor moisture condensation, providing thermal break.

• How other innovative plastic materials help in energy efficiency in B&C E.g. new plastic rigid foam insulation, plastic spray foam insulation, plastic structural insulated panels reduce green house gasses by reducing HVAC use, prevent energy loss by reducing air infiltration and reduce costs by decreasing heating and cooling.

There are several innovative B&C projects across Europe and the world which allow to use less energy and to have less gas emissions. Examples are:

Casa2Litri, developed in Italy to use less than 2 litres per square meter of heating oil.

The Smart House, developed in Germany to use less than 3 litres per square meter of heating oil.

Zero heating cost building: this building is lined with thermal insulation panels which allow to heat without using radiators thanks to solar cells on the roof that generate electricity

Masdar, which is being built next to Abu Dhabi, is an example that combines the latest modern design with a sustainable, zero-carbon, zero-waste ecology.

Innovation in B&C plastic materials is contributing to sustainability.

• Plastic pipes and fittings have long life and easy to maintain and they prevent water damage; they can be easily installed.

• New surfaces anti-graffiti can save money and materials.


Would you like to participate? Are you interested in this event? Write to!

These are some indicative questions that can help students better understand the topic of the chat.

Students are encouraged to have a look at these questions in advance of the chat, do some background research, discuss in class and use these or other relevant questions when chatting with the expert.

• In what ways can innovation in B&C contribute to making houses more energy efficient?

• Can you find any real example in B&C around Europe where innovation helps to achieve little or no conventional heating or energy supplies?

• Can you find any example of zero emission, zero waste city around the globe?

• Can you identify ways in which innovative materials can help families to save money for their house?

• How can innovation in plastics save resources compared to other materials?

More information: download the chat transcript (pdf)