More durable – Lead lasts three times longer than other man-made products.
More carbon friendly – Lead has the lowest carbon footprint of all hard metals and is up to 100% recyclable.
More economical than any man-made alternative – Lead is 100% more cost effective over 65 years*
Find out about lead’s excellent green credentials by watching our new film Lead – the eco story
Now included in the BRE Green Guide, lead has been proven to be one of the greenest building materials available. In most standard lead roofing and vertical cladding installations, lead has a rating of A or A+, has a significantly lower carbon footprint than comparable external wall and roofing specifications, and its Ecopoints – the degree to which a material impacts on the environmental performance of a building – measure very favourably.
Find out more about the findings of lead in the BRE Green Guide by clicking here.
Climate change is causing a wider range of weather conditions in the UK, which is making the choice of roofing material ever more important to withstand water ingress and UV degradation.
The LSA has produced a short information sheet outlining some interesting facts to consider about the use of Rolled Lead Sheet in comparision with alternative manmade building materials. For example, how lead’s flexibility and malleability allow it to move in sympathy with buildings over the years, and how lead’s longevity can result in substantial savings in maintenance and insurance costs, as well as being the environmentally friendly option.
A Contemporary Building Product
Lead is a contemporary building product that has been used by architects in many different scenarios. The LSA joined forces with the RIBA Journal in 2013 to create a special supplement to showcase the versatility of British Standard rolled lead sheet on a range of interesting projects.
The Truth About Lead
Some manufacturers of man-made alternatives are making claims about Lead, which are simply false. The LSA takes a closer look at what they are saying and set the record straight.
New 50 year warranty for British Standard 12588 Rolled Lead Sheet
Lead has been used in construction for hundreds of years, and there are many examples around the country of lead installations continuing to function as was originally intended all those years ago.
The LSA Members are so confident of lead’s longevity that they are now offering a 50 year warranty on the lead that they sell. This guarantee applies to rolled lead sheet manufactured by a LSA Member since October 2013, providing it is installed in accordance with the LSA Rolled Lead Sheet Manual and BS 6915.
Research undertaken by the LSA
Many people know lead as a traditional material used in historic buildings or conservation projects. However, it is still the product of choice for specifiers looking for great aesthetic qualities as well as peace of mind on a project due to lead’s longevity and reliability.
The LSA has worked with some key organisations in the construction industry to examine more closely the properties and benefits of using lead, particularly in relation to its economic, technical and environmental characteristics.
This is a short film called ‘The truth about lead’, which encapsulates some of those findings in a succinct and entertaining way. Why not take a look?
The research, carried out in conjunction with The Building Research Establishment and Franklin + Andrews is summarised below.
Rolled lead sheet used in construction outperforms competing manmade products such as flashings, and hard metals, on many fronts:
- The carbon footprint of lead, compared with other hard metals, is extremely low making it a very environmentally friendly material.
- Its lifespan also means it lasts a generation without having to be replaced – on average more than three times longer than other proprietary flashing products.
- There is an established recycling infrastructure so almost 100% of the waste can be re-used.
- Lead’s longevity means that architects can safely use it in designs needing to comply with Euro code requirements for a 60 year design life.
- Lead installation is not impacted by damp or cold weather conditions, thereby minimising project delays.
- Working with lead is a highly skilled job and will more likely be undertaken by skilled tradesman, thereby minimising the risks of employing unskilled labour using other products.
- The economic benefits of using lead also came through strongly. Over a 40 year period lead can be up to 50% cheaper than manmade flashing products and over 65 years it is almost 100% cheaper.
Lead is considered so safe and reliable that it is possible to obtain a 25 year insurance backed guarantee covering the material and installation when it is installed by an LCA (Lead Contractors Association) accredited contractor.
Research Summary & Comparison Tables
We have also drawn up a number of tables for ease of comparison with other metals and manmade products. The research identified some key points which might often be overlooked.
For more information, please contact our Technical Team.
Lead Sheet Goes Full Circle
ELSIA, the European Lead Sheet Industry Association, has produced a document which provides a scientifically sound appraisal of the use of lead sheet in construction, to directly challenge some misconceptions.
Drawing on various sources of independent research and data, “Lead Goes Full Circle” draws some interesting and very positive conclusions:
- Lead sheet used in the building industry poses no risk to the environment or people
- Lead sheet out performs all man-made materials in its field
- More than 95% of lead used in the manufacture of lead sheet comes from recycling
- The relatively low melting point of lead, 327°C, means the process has a low carbon footprint and a minimal environmental impact
- Lead sheet affords attractive, permanent protection against the weather
- The proven life of lead sheet is hundreds of years
To read the report in more detail, simply click here »