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Lead - one of the oldest and most durable building materials.

A thriving lead industry not only keeps thousands of people employed; it also helps keep alive the traditional arts of construction that have helped shape some of the world's most beautiful architecture.

Lead is the most recycled and recovered building material in use today, it has been known to last for more than five hundred years. It will last longer and age more beautifully than any of its synthetically produced substitutes.

The types of material used and the methods of manufacture mean they are destined for early replacement, modern alternatives can fail within twenty years. this means they have both a negative cost and environmental impact.

Sustainable development is at the heart of most governmental environment policies in modern day politics and by maximising recycling and minimising waste through sheer longevity, lead is unbeatable as an example of a sustainable building material. Lead is more environmentally friendly than alternatives made by the petro-chemical industry, even its reclamation is energy efficient.


Buildings with newly installed lead sheet form a surface film of protective oxides in the form of a patina that is both strongly adhering and highly insoluble, any low levels of corrosion byproducts leaving the surface of the roof are extremely small and become highly diluted with rainwater. The fail rate is negligible and its resistance to corrosion by the atmosphere means that lead sheet will outlast any alternative building material, making it best value both in monetary and environmental terms.

As lead naturally binds to the soil, the combination of a correctly designed roof fitted with gutters with drainage points, plus the virtually undetectable discharge levels, means that bio-availability within the eco system is extremely limited.

While the installation of lead may at first appear marginally more expensive, in terms of longevity and ecology, a significant factor in the light of possible future eco-taxes on building materials, it still offers best value, and of course, also has a far greater aesthetic value.