EPTA says that although still relatively new to the residential housing market, the properties of pultruded composite profiles have earned them a position of awareness and respect among architects, engineers and building owners wanting to differentiate themselves in a highly competitive market. Offering a combination of properties not available with traditional building materials, the attributes of pultruded profiles have been proven over the years through applications such as window systems, where they have earned a reputation as a premium solution that is maintenance free and long-lasting as well displaying superior performance in terms of dimensional stability and thermal performance. Today, the EPTA report finds, this has led to composite pultrusions now starting to replace wood, PVC and aluminium in a variety of residential applications including exterior trim, cladding, decking, columns, pergolas and arbours, as well as railings, fencing, decking and even modular housing systems.
Many of the properties that make composites the preferred material of choice for performance reasons also result in it being a more sustainable material for green builders, the study says. The Startlink system is an example of a sustainable modular construction system for low-cost thermally efficient homes based on a number of pultruded profiles that bolt and ‘snap-fit’ together enabling rapid assembly. The composite is stable, inert and impervious to moisture, requiring only the addition of insulation to build houses. Thermal bridging is eliminated and the inherent dimensional stability of pultruded profiles means that air tightness is easily achieved. At just 18 tonnes when fitted together, the pultruded parts are also lightweight, easily handled and installed without heavy lifting equipment.
“Pultruded glass fibre composites offer a high performance, cost effective alternative to more familiar building materials and are suited to a large number of applications in the residential construction market,” states Dr Elmar Witten of EPTA. “A heightened global emphasis on green building and sustainable building practices will bring increased interest in the potential for pultruded profiles to create energy efficient and sustainable residential solutions for the future.”
The full report can be found at: