More contractors are switching to plastic pipework in an attempt to counter the rise in metal thefts, according to new research by Durapipe UK.
In its survey of contractors, consultants and specifiers, Durapipe found that almost three quarters (72%) of contractors in the building services industry have reported experiencing metal thefts. Almost half (45%) of those questioned revealed that they have had metal stolen from site during the last six months, compared with just 14% recording incidents a year ago.
Copper pipework is one of the most common products to be stolen from construction projects and is resulting in costly setbacks for contractors looking to meet strict budgets and deadlines. This is causing a reassessment of pipework specifications to help combat the problem, with one in four of the people surveyed revealing that they have changed a specification from copper or steel to plastic to negate the problem of metal thefts.
Durapipe believes its new research may explain the emerging shift in the choice of material for pipework specifications. Plastic pipework has rapidly increasing its market share for building services applications over the last two years. As plastic has no scrap value, the risk of theft is completely eradicated, making it a cost effective solution for projects.
Mitchell Holmes, Durapipe UK marketing manager, said: 'It is startling to see just how many people are being affected by metal thefts up and down the country. We are speaking to contractors on a daily basis about converting copper and steel specifications to plastics as they try to limit the risk.'