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    Finding middle ground: Stormtech strikes the balance between code compliance and sustainability

    Always ahead of the curve, Stormtech prides itself on having been one of the first drainage manufacturers in the world to take a meaningful look at sustainability and their products’ performance in this regard. By wholeheartedly embracing green manufacturing and taking a strategic approach to material and supplier selection, Stormtech has earned a reputation as one of Australasia’s most sustainable building products manufacturers. 

    To achieve – and maintain – this reputation, the company has had to think creatively about sustainability while also recognising potential limiting factors. For example, they must balance sustainability goals with competing factors including code and regulatory compliance. Rather than conceive of these as limitations, however, Stormtech uses their expertise to consider – and respond to – these as opportunities to challenge convention and investigate alternatives.

    One example of where this has occurred is material selection. Section 2.1 of AS 3500 Part 2:2015 Plumbing and drainage – Sanitary plumbing and drainage sets forth the materials that are compliant with code requirements for drainage applications in Australia. Aluminium – which is cheap, lightweight, and requires minimal energy to recycle – is notably absent from this list. This is because concrete, cements, grouts, tile glues, mortars, and other drainage system components have an alkaline pH of between 10 and 14. Aluminium, on the other hand, has a working range of resistance of 4 to 8.5pH, meaning that it is simply not compliant with the requirements of AS 3500.

    The ruling out of aluminium has led Stormtech to think creatively and strategically about how other, code compliant materials can be used to achieve sustainable outcomes. Considering compliance from this perspective allows Stormtech to take a more holistic approach to sustainability, in which they consider all stages of a material or product’s life cycle. 

    As a consequence, stainless steel is used extensively throughout the Stormtech catalogue, in spite of being very high energy and resource intensive to manufacture. In Stormtech’s view, this less sustainable manufacturing stage is offset by the material’s high durability and longevity, two characteristics that are backed up by strong research. According to an ongoing empirical study in Durban, South Africa that has continuously monitored various metals in a severe marine corrosion environment since the late 1960s, 316 stainless steel corrodes at an astoundingly low rate of 1mm per 1000 years. This quality makes the material the ideal choice for manufacturing long-lasting, high quality drainage solutions for even the most demanding outdoor and marine environments. 

    For the second year running, Stormtech are proud sponsors of the Sustainability Awards, coming to Sydney later this year. To learn more about Stormtech’s commitment to ongoing code and regulatory compliance and view their extensive product catalogue, head to https://www.stormtech.com.au/.

     

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