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EcoCopper™ Frequently Asked Questions

What are EcoCopper building materials?

EcoCopper materials are a line of sustainable copper, brass and bronze alloys that PMX has developed to meet specific green building objectives based on each customer's requirements. If required, we can offer EcoCopper building materials with up to l00% of recycled content that are produced using up to 100% of renewable wind energy for electricity. While all of our copper alloys contain recycled content and are produced in a sustainable manner, EcoCopper materials were developed to enable PMX to actually guarantee that these building materials meet specific green building objectives.

Why are meeting green building requirements with a guarantee important?

As evidenced by the significant increases in LEED certified building projects, owners, developers, and building professionals require more information about the materials and products used in construction. We have the ability to provide building professionals with specific sustainability guarantees if required.

What is LEED?

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating program was developed by the United States Green Building Council to certify that buildings meet specific performance requirements. LEED is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard that is increasingly used by architects, building owners, and federal, state and local governments for the design and construction of new projects. There are four levels of LEED certification that are based on achieving rating points under six specific categories including:

  • Sustainable Site
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy and Atmosphere
  • Materials and Resources
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Innovation and Design Process

How do EcoCopper building materials contribute to earning LEED points?

Depending on the application, there are several ways that EcoCopper materials may contribute to earning LEED points. Under the materials and resources category, credit 4.1 provides points for using building materials with high recycled content. All EcoCopper building materials are highly recyclable without any loss of performance. Depending on the specific alloy, EcoCopper materials contain at least 35% and if specified, up to 100% of recycled content.

Depending on the location of the building project, EcoCopper materials may also qualify under the materials and resources category for credit 5.1 for regional materials that are manufactured within 500 miles of the project site.

How do you maintain and ensure the consistent quality of EcoCopper building materials?

During our entire production process, from melting to casting to finishing, PMX operations are governed by our ISO 9001: 2008 quality management system. Our approach focuses on careful planning and design, a state-of-the-art rolling mill, good laboratory practices, and expertise in fabrication, forming, and drawing to deliver EcoCopper materials that meet each customer’s requirements.

Where are EcoCopper building materials used?

EcoCopper materials can be used in numerous exterior and interior applications that require durable and attractive building materials. Roofs, flashing, gutters, decorative cladding, and handrails are just a few of many applications that benefit from easy to form EcoCopper materials.

Available in a variety of colors, textures, and finishes, EcoCopper building materials provide architects and manufacturers with extensive design flexibility. EcoCopper materials can complement any style of building. From traditional to modern, the warmth and beauty of EcoCopper alloys will enhance any building project.

How will an EcoCopper roof stand up to extreme weather conditions?

EcoCopper roofs can withstand decades of abuse from extreme weather such as heavy snow, high winds, hailstorm, and even wildfires. EcoCopper roofs shed snow fast which protects the structural integrity of the roof and eliminates ice damming at the eaves. In areas that are prone to wildfires, EcoCopper roofing will protect buildings when burning embers land on the roof. Corrosion-resistant EcoCopper roofing materials survive in the harshest environments from coastal regions to heavy industrial areas without rusting.

Why do EcoCopper building materials change color when used on the exterior of a building?

The natural weathering of copper alloys is a direct consequence of the attack of airborne sulfur compounds. This leads to a gradual change in the surface color until equilibrium is reached and the change is stabilized. The final color depends on the location and local weather. Salt, sunlight, industrial processes, and moisture can affect the final color.

Clear coatings can provide short-term protection from weathering and will need to be reapplied to prevent weathering. However, some architects and building owners actually require the naturally occurring patina of copper to be accelerated using a controlled chemical process. In general, salmon colored EcoCopper will change hues through a progression of colors until a blue-green or gray-green patina is reached. Depending on the type of alloy used, EcoCopper materials used on the exterior of a building will weather to various patina colors.

What is flashing?

Flashing is the water-proofing material installed under roofing shingles or tiles where roofs intersect or where the roof ends or abuts a wall. It is also used around chimneys and vents that penetrate the roof. Flashing is the building’s primary defense against water. Flashing protects the structural integrity of a building and prevents rot damage from a leaking roof.

What are the advantages of EcoCopper flashing?

EcoCopper is an excellent material for flashing because of its strength, malleability, and high resistance to the caustic effects of mortars and a hostile environment. EcoCopper flashing provides a long service life, low maintenance, and looks very attractive. Unlike most flashing materials, EcoCopper materials will not need to be replaced when an asphalt shingle or other type of roof is replaced. EcoCopper flashing when properly installed can outlast the life of most roof systems.

Are EcoCopper building materials recyclable?

Yes, EcoCopper materials are continuously recovered, recycled, and reused forming a cradle to cradle life cycle that is very beneficial to the environment. When you consider the performance measures for green buildings, an important assessment should certainly include a total life cycle analysis to determine the environmental impact of building materials from extraction through disposal. EcoCopper materials will never wind up in a landfill.

How are EcoCopper building materials supplied?

EcoCopper alloys are available in strip, coil, sheet, and plate forms in a wide range of gauges, sizes, and tempers.

Are EcoCopper building materials available in different colors and finishes?

Yes, PMX has the ability to customize the mechanical and physical properties of a wide range of lead-free alloys to produce structurally strong, durable materials that will meet each customer's unique requirements. We have developed EcoCopper materials in a broad spectrum of colors ranging from salmon red, to bright brass to bronze to silver to name just a few. EcoCopper finish options include polished, satin, matte, distressed, and antique as well as the standard brushed #4, polished #6, and bright #7 finishes. Textures and amazing architectural effects can be created by polishing, buffing, grinding, etching, and weaving. Please contact us or call 800-531-5268 to discuss your requirements.

Are EcoCopper building materials expensive?

No, in fact, the life cycle cost alone makes EcoCopper materials a good value for green buildings. Initial cost, maintenance, and the life expectancy of the product must be evaluated as well as the salvage value of EcoCopper materials. EcoCopper building materials are inherently recyclable and retain most of the primary metal value.

Where can I get design help on using EcoCopper building materials?

Our PMX sales and technical staff will review your specifications to ensure we provide the best EcoCopper material for your application. We will work with you to choose the alloy and properties that will most cost-effectively meet your objectives. We can supply qualified contractors to handle any type of EcoCopper installation.

 

         
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