Say NO to Fibreglass
Why Fibreglass Skylighting is on its’ way out
It’s fair to say that when the average person thinks of skylighting, it’s usually translucent fibreglass skylighting that comes to mind. Fibreglass dates way back to ancient Egypt where glass fibres were created and used as decorations.
It wasn’t until the 1930s when Owens-Corning in the US researched creating a cloth out of fibreglass strands. Their vision that came to fruition was to create fibres that could be used to reinforce plastics by covering them in resin. To this day though, a number serious issues with fibreglass have still not been mitigated despite enormous amounts of research and development - so the concept of fibreglass being the number-one choice for translucent skylighting is fading rapidly and construction and building companies are now using safe, quality alternatives.
Our landfills in New Zealand hold enormous amounts of fibreglass, primarily from old boat hulls, but you guessed it – second up is fibreglass skylighting. Usually the reason it’s been dumped is due to its brittle nature after being exposed to sunlight and the elements after only a few years – and it’s tendency to ‘yellow’ or ‘haze’ is problematic, reducing light transmission dramatically and exposing fibres that birds tear out for nesting that result in major leakage.
It’s fair to say that in 1963 on a small Kibbutz in Israel, a group of people saw an opportunity to develop an alternative to fibreglass that had a lengthy life span and was fully recyclable and environmentally friendly. That notion payed off, and they now manufacture recyclable thermoplastic and polycarbonate sheeting for the residential and commercial building industries around the planet. It didn’t take long for this company to become multinationals, with plants in 6 continents across the globe.
Choose your translucent skylighting wisely! Keep a clear conscience and know that choosing the right (recyclable and user friendly) product is good for everybody – your clients, their clients, and our environment.