Copper is known to be a major metal and an essential element used all around the globe. It is the oldest metal known to man and was first discovered and used about 10,000 years ago, however it was only alloyed in bronze circa 3000 BC, making it the first engineering material known to man.
The first facts about copper relates to the pyramids of Cheops, located in Egypt. Archeologists have found water pipes partly made from copper. Piping network has been used in Egypt for more than 5000 years. Therefore, copper was believed as the symbol of the eternal life. In the hieroglyph system, the ancient Egyptian people utilized the ankh symbol to represent copper.
Nowadays, copper is not only restricted to piping work, but it has expanded to include heating, cooling and refrigeration, electrical wiring, electronics, power generation and transmission, automotive applications, antimicrobial uses and many more. Moreover, copper can still be considered a symbol of eternal life for the Egyptians; however it can also be considered a sustainable material; when taking in consideration the processes of extraction, production and retail.
Therefore, The Eden Project based in Cornwall, England is one of the most innovative and high profile of the Millennium Projects. It is the largest plant enclosure in the world built in the lightest and most ecological way possible. Eden’s aim was to build the Core (education center) with the highest sustainable specifications, challenging the conventions for sustainable design and construction, with targets above the national benchmarks and using carefully selected materials. The team considered the complex interaction between a range of criteria of sustainable issues, specifically waste neutrality, positive futures, recycled content, certification of materials and local sourcing implications.
The key criteria affecting the choice of roofing material were:
• to make a bold architectural statement to complement Eden’s ground-breaking architecture and landscapes;
• to be durable, strong and relatively lightweight;
• to be malleable enough to cope with the complex structure of the roof;
• to have excellent sustainability credentials, and
• most importantly for a building dedicated to education at Eden, the roof should highlight a progressive message relating to sustainable development issues.
While copper can be relatively expensive for a roof and is in strong competition with other roofing materials, it is robust, even when turned into sheets, malleable, completely waterproof and very long lasting: physical properties that made it ideal for the roof’s complex design. Aesthetically too, copper is the only common metal; other than gold, that isn’t grey or silver, making it one of the most easily recognized metals, thus aiding engagement with visitors as a first step to relating the sustainability message.
As an international manufacturer and supplier for copper sheet and bronze sheet, Shanghai Metal Corporation produces slitting, edging, and oscillates winding to fit your specific copper requirements. For more information on our copper products please visit our website here. Be sure to join the conversation in our Linkedln group, Facebook and Instagram.
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Sources: The Eden project
William P.//SMC Editor