The leading roofing manufacturer Marley Eternit has launched what it describes as a ground-breaking new roof tile coating that will absorb asthma-causing pollutants from the air.
The new coating, EcoLogic, contains a catalyst that is activated by the sun’ s rays. This removes nitrogen oxides (NOx) which contribute to asthmatic and bronchial problems from the air, along with other atmospheric pollutants responsible for smog and acid rain.
Marley Eternit estimates that during its lifetime an average-sized roof with EcoLogic tiles could remove an amount of NOx equivalent to that emitted by a modern car driving 100,000 miles.
The new tile also combines much higher levels of recycled materials than standard concrete tiles. So, claims the company, not only does the tile have active environment-improving properties, it is a highly sustainable building product in its own right. EcoLogic is being launched in a Ludlow Major profile in the new colour Bracken. This product has a brown granular textured surface to complement a wide range of architectural styles, from urban renewal to new build developments.
The effects of NOx are well documented and the Government has targeted a reduction of NOx emission levels from the 2004 level of 1.6 million tonnes to below 1.2 million tonnes by 2010.
Ludlow Major tiles are popular in inner city areas such as London, which is among the UK’s worst-hit locations for nitrogen oxides. Based on Marley Eternit’s rigorous testing, EcoLogic Ludlow Major tiles are expected to continue absorbing pollutants for around 20 years.
Marley Eternit’s Head of R&D, Dr Andrew McKnight, said: “EcoLogic is a revolutionary tile that is not only ecologically friendly, it actually improves the environment.
“Marley Eternit has led the way in the roofing industry for years with its approach to sustainability and environmental awareness. While the recycled content of the tile reflects the company’s long-term commitment to reducing waste and power consumption, the innovative coating of EcoLogic is really groundbreaking.
“EcoLogic should make a positive contribution to reducing atmospheric pollution but cannot alone eliminate it – everyone still needs to look carefully at the way they use energy and resources – it is a step in the right direction and has the potential to make a difference.”
EcoLogic coating contains special grades of titanium dioxide (TiO2) that trigger a reaction under the influence of the UV radiation in sunlight converting NOx into nitric acid ions. These are then neutralised by the lime and calcium carbonate in the concrete.
Dr Andrew McKnight continued: “The emission of these pollutants is in decline as technology has become cleaner – sulphurous and nitrogen oxide levels in the atmosphere have fallen since the 1980s – but they still both cause problems. Although the wider impact of carbon dioxide is still being debated, it is well known that nitrogen oxides – largely caused by burning fossil fuels – contribute to breathing difficulties. Even if levels are relatively low, long-term exposure can attack the bronchial tubes.
“There are other ecological effects too that distort the natural nutrient cycle. This has a negative impact on air and water quality and disrupts the health of both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.”