Posted in | News

GE Plastics Supports Green Building Technologies

GE Plastics has a broad portfolio of materials that support the accelerating green building movement to reduce the environmental impact of buildings by boosting their energy efficiency, resource conservation, and sustainable design. As part of GE's ecomagination* initiative, GE Plastics is developing environmentally responsible engineered plastics that are excellent candidates for green applications. Specifically for the building & construction industry, the company's wide array of sheet products for energy-efficient roofing and glazing applications, and resin grades for lightweight, recyclable roofing, offer builders a host of options for green structures.

"Green building is moving into the mainstream, and GE Plastics' products give our customers the materials they need to succeed with this new opportunity," said Carina Viola, industry manager, Building & Construction for GE Plastics, Specialty Film & Sheet. "Our plastics can replace traditional building materials in glazing, roofing, and interior applications to deliver environmental benefits along with greater design freedom and reduced system costs."

Energy Conservation

Today's builders must balance the increasing demand for designs that admit large amounts of light with concerns about energy costs. The use of specialized polymer glazing instead of traditional glass can achieve both. One approach is the use of additives that block near infrared (IR) heat but admit light.

In the United States, Centerpoint Translucent Systems, LLC - a manufacturer and distributor of residential roofing products - used GE's Lexan* multiwall sheet for a translucent roofing system that allows penetration of natural, filtered daylight into living areas without the energy loss and higher heating and cooling costs of glass roofing inserts. In fact, the new translucent roofing system will be used on the National Homebuilder Mainstream GreenHome in Raleigh, N.C., which is expected to be completed in the spring of 2007.

In the Netherlands, Lexan Solar Control IR polycarbonate (PC) sheet encloses the four escalators leading to the Amsterdam ArenA. The escalators are designed to help handle large crowds, which can lead to uncomfortable temperature levels within the enclosures. Lexan Solar Control IR sheet helps absorb infrared and near-IR radiation from the sun, potentially reducing interior heat buildup by as much as 40 percent. In addition, it can offer up to 60 percent more visible light transmission than other plastic-based, IR-absorbent glazing products.

Sustainable Design

Sustainable design emphasizes the use of renewable resources and a more-efficient use of all resources. Engineered thermoplastics can not only replace traditional building materials whose supplies are limited, but also support sustainability efforts such as the use of alternative energy sources in homes and commercial buildings.

By replacing expensive and cumbersome metal with GE's Noryl* resin, Norway's Solarnor AS developed a reservoir for its solar panels that provides maximum performance with minimal environmental impact. Noryl resin withstands high water temperatures and offers excellent hydrolytic stability under constant exposure to water. Further, the GE material is intended for conformance with strict European Union environmental guidelines.

To support the shift away from consuming large amounts of fossil fuel, the greenhouse industry is also using GE's technology. A Dutch hydroculture company has constructed greenhouses using GE's Lexan ZigZag* PC double-wall roofing panels to collect extra energy from sunlight that can be sold as surplus. The unique panels provide higher light transmission than glass while ensuring excellent insulation properties.


Many of today's plastics lend themselves to recycling efforts. Using GE Plastics' Geloy* XTW resin, ArmorLite Roofing created the first patented polymer slate, shake, and tile. The Geloy XTW resin helps make ArmorLite roofing a very smart choice for environmental protection. Because the GE polymer weighs so much less than wood, concrete, metal, and asphalt, ArmorLite roofing can significantly reduce fuel consumption used in shipping. Further, Geloy resin meets recyclability standards, and manufacturing waste is reused in new roofing.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this news story?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.