More than 4 in 5 architects, M&E specifiers and contractors have experienced copper theft, and increases in raw materials costs could be driving an increase. But considering an alternative to traditional pipework could reduce the risk of theft, says polymer specialist Rehau.
Steve Richmond, head of Marketing & Technical for Building Solutions, says: “We have recently seen a 10-year high on some raw material prices, which of course increases its appeal to thieves. This not only has cost implications for construction sites full of new materials, but also causes potential project delays though insurance claims and police reports.”
Metal remains a common material for heating and plumbing pipework. Steve says this is because of its familiarity but that innovations in polymer and jointing technology are creating a major shift in the materials used: “While it is easy to list out the benefits of polymer over metal, this is a debate that has long been dividing the building services industry.
“Granted both materials have their uses but, in the context of wider building issues, the advantages for polymer are clear cut. Polymers fluctuate less on price and are not targeted for theft so are a lower risk for contractors.”