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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

Buy individually or both books together. Delivery is free!

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    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2020 edited
    What ho all self isolators and bubble groups,

    This is kind of a grumpy old man rant, but I don't understand why so many of the plastic items that are used in the home, are just rubbish. I don't mean the item itself, usually just the plastic case.

    They come out of the box, white; within a few years, they have discoloured to beige. I know the excuse is UV light, but I would counter that argument by saying that light switches, 13A sockets and white plastic toilet seats do not discolour.

    My Firex alarms smoke and heat alarms, started white, more or less matching the ceiling, now beige. The alarm RKP, again, white from the box, now a tone of yellow. The supply and extract MVHR ceiling vents are factory painted, but some are now a nice tone of beige. As for the expensive Ideal Standard, vac formed bath panel, the only white section is where the bath mat drapes. It is so beige, it really shows against the white bath and tiles.

    None of these items are in direct sunlight but obviously UV reflects around.

    However, I still question why these items are not designed with a better formulated plastic?

    I have complained to the manufacturers and not surprisingly, their response is 'tough luck kid, buy another.'

    As it happens, I have 'solved' the issue by spraying white. And for the smoke alarms, I did dismantle rather than spray the smoke sensor and tested when re-installed.

    Toodle pip
    • CommentAuthorLF
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2020
    Rex, you are so right. What a waste.
    You can by spray uv protector for car trim, perhaps we should be treating our plastics in the house to extend time between repaints?
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2020
    Different types of plastic, I expect.
    • CommentAuthorrevor
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2020
    I agree entirely. You may think you are buying UK made goods but casings are often made in the far east in particular China. I once had a plastic panel door to hide such things as shut off valves etc which had been in my store room for several years in the dark. It had a paper card over the centre of it with cellophane wrapper. Where the wrapper had been in contact with the plastic cover it had gone very yellow.
    The other gripe about plastic is it gets very brittle. We still have in daily use plastic Tupperware boxes (remember them?) bought some 40 or more years ago and still as serviceable as the day they were bought. They must have had a lot of plasticiser in them.
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2020
    You are correct about the casings being made in China. But I cannot see them even being made in the UK. I just don't understand why, if light switches can be so resistant to UV, etc, why not these other items for which we pay and arm and a leg?

    In our kitchen, bathrooms and utility, I did not want tiles so have one piece vinyl. If noting else, figure in 'wet' areas, I would rather have a continuous covering to protect the timber below. And that vinyl goes under the kitchen cabinets, into the pantry and into the cupboard with the boiler and cylinder. They never get any UV whatsoever. And for whatever reason, the vinyl is now a noticeable shade of 'yellowish' when compared with the normal, regularly walked on vinyl.

    I have an external grade PIR for the garage 'welcome' lights. The dome has more or less collapsed due to UV. Called the manufacturer and was told that the item only has a 5 year design life!!!!!

    But the uPVC facias, of which I have too much (but it does mean that I don't have to paint,) they are still white after 10 years in the direct sun.
    • CommentAuthorrevor
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2020
    Last year I went to a presentation on hydroponics. One of the presenters had developed a special valve that allowed the feed solution to automatically feed the plants. He was having these made in China in their thousands until he had a batch of such poor quality they were useless. The manufacturer refused to remake them and he lost his money as he had to pay up front. He found them very difficult to deal with not customer focus at all. Fortunately there is a happy outcome he found an UK injection moulding manufacturer who was able to make them for him at similar cost with great customer service. A few UK jobs saved! Brill!!
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2020
    I'm no expert in the field of thermoplastic polymers but I'm guessing there are dozens, if not hundreds of types and formulations each with their own particular desirable and undesirable properties.
    Take white light switches for example I think they are generally a Melamine formulation, also used for plastic picnic/party/dinnerware. It's quite tough and seems to retain its colour well and moulds to a nice clean finish, but if, for instance, you're trying to knock a cable entry into a patress box you have to be carful not to break it. The toughness comes with a certain degree of brittleness. I imagine if you then introduce some flexibility into the mix you may loose the colour retention and /or the injection moulding properties.
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2020 edited
    I guess is is almost rocket science!

    Posting this image of the vinyl floor, outside and inside the cupboard with the boiler / cylinder. The only differences between in / out:- no light / warmer / drier.
      Fade (Small).JPG
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