Rising global & urban populations driving development of building & construction solutions from SABIC

Sittard, The Netherlands, October 24, 2016 - The world population is projected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050, according to the United Nations. And by then, it estimates, some 70% of those people will live in cities -- up from 54% today. By 2030, the world is projected to have 41 mega-cities with 10 million inhabitants or more1.

This growth presents huge challenges in terms of infrastructure, energy and environment. It will require trillions of dollars of new investment, and sustainable building techniques and the use of green building materials will be paramount. The global green building market in 2013 grew to $260 billion2, and it continues to expand, with the top two reasons for employing sustainable building practices being client demand (35%) and market demand (33%)3. The construction industry will need to step up its search for sustainable solutions -- both for materials and for innovative techniques -- to enable the building of affordable, energy-efficient houses and commercial structures while contributing to the smart use of global resources based on circular-economy principles.

With its extensive array of products, SABIC continues to build on its nearly 40-year tradition of transforming oil and gas resources into products with added value for people worldwide. For the building and construction sector, this includes virtually every imaginable type of plastic pipe, as well as sheet products, various foam solutions, and related technologies that are finding use in energy-efficient, reusable housing structures, and parts for water-purification systems.

“SABIC is pleased to be leading the way when it comes to tackling and solving some of society’s most challenging problems in the vital areas of water management, housing and infrastructure,” said Fabrice Bertinchamps, General Manager of Global Segments for SABIC. “We are excited to be showcasing some of our latest products and technologies at the K 2016 trade show in Düsseldorf this fall.”

Here are just a few examples of what SABIC will highlighting on Stand D42/Hall 6 at the K fair:

SABIC offers pipe options applied by customers in nearly every application -- infrastructure, domestic, industrial, agriculture & aquaculture, and it will showcase these with its “pipe skyline” display at K, offering actual samples and detailed information about its broad portfolio, including for the following types of applications:

  • INFRASTRUCTURE -- Safe drinking water and proper sanitation is key to healthy living, from dense urban areas to the far-flung, rural countryside. Plastic pipes not only deliver potable water to people while helping to manage waste and storm water, they also are key components to heating and cooling systems. SABIC’s various polyethylene and polypropylene resin grades (such as its PE80, PE100 and PP RELY family) address these needs.
  • DOMESTIC -- Polypropylene random copolymer (PP-R) offers easy installation by welding, is both taste and odor neutral, and offers good temperature and pressure resistance. PP-R pipe systems also are a sustainable alternative to traditional copper pipes and can contribute to long-term water quality. SABIC recently expanded its pipe portfolio with the launch of the SABIC® SUPEER™ 8200RT grade, which is selected by customers for their PE-RT hot- and cold-water applications, and offers suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) pipe that is applied in other domestic uses.
  • INDUSTRIAL -- Polyolefin pipes can typically be used for in chemical plants, mines and process industries due to their ability to resist corrosion and abrasion, and to safely transport aggressive and dangerous fluids and waste in an economical way. SABIC also is active in providing HDPE coatings for steel pipes, which has been shown to extend the lifetime of such pipes. In fact, SABIC recently introduced a new grade, SABIC® VESTOLEN A 5640C, for the application of a topcoat for steel pipe coating, as part of a three-layer system that protects metal pipes from corrosion. And the SABIC® VESTOLEN A RELY family of resins is widely used in geothermal pipes and for transporting various fluids at low and elevated temperatures.
  • AGRI- & AQUACULTURE -- Various SABIC polyolefin resins contribute to the safety and efficiency of irrigation systems that help to increase agriculture yields, and such uses as cages for fish farming.

Visitors to SABIC’s K show stand also will have a chance to learn about LEXAN™ THERMOCLEAR™ multiwall sheet and building systems for wall cladding, ceilings and roofing.

One of the system’s more high-profile examples will be on display there, as SABIC will showcase a portion of the ICEhouse, an environmentally friendly building structure made possible by its use of LEXAN sheets. ICEhouse -- where ICE stands for Innovation for the Circular Economy – is a world first in its composition and fabrication.

It was conceived, designed and built by globally recognized architect and sustainability thought leader William McDonough and his companies, in collaboration with SABIC. The structure was used at the 2016 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, to host meetings of some of the world’s most influential politicians, entrepreneurs and CEOs -- and it will be used again at the WEF in 2017.

Offered in an array of colors, finishes, sizes and configurations, LEXAN THERMOCLEAR sheet offers very high thermal insulation, is lightweight, easy to transport, 250 times more impact resistant than glass from -40°C to +120°C, and provides enhanced fire performance (including compliance with the European EN 13501-1). Use of these materials is helping architects and builders to achieve recognition through programs such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification.

LEXAN THERMOCLEAR sheet provides a unique combination of very high thermal insulation and excellent light transmission that together can offer energy savings of up to 50% compared to glass. It also is half the weight of glass, which translates into savings in transportation, handling and installation. Finally, this multiwall sheet offers environmental benefits via its potential to be 100% recycled where the infrastructure exists, and to be re-used.

As a separate project, SABIC has created the Home of Innovation™, a growth initiative designed to showcase sustainable solutions. The program’s 3,100-square-meter campus of three buildings, including a Demonstration Home, achieves significant energy and water efficiency, in support of SABIC’s climate-change goals.

The Demonstration Home is the first single-family dwelling in the Middle East to achieve a LEED-Platinum® rating from the United States Green Building Council™. It is projected to use nearly 40% less energy and 40% less water than a building code-compliant home of comparable size, and achieves a net-zero energy balance from an extensive rooftop solar array. The complex’s Collaboration Center is similarly efficient, and earned a LEED-Gold® rating, all while using a variety of SABIC materials and technologies.

Another product introduced to assist the construction industry are 4-meter-long scaffolding planks made of SABIC STAMAX™ long-glass-fiber-reinforced polypropylene. Designed to replace wood planks, these products are lighter weight, offer greater sustainability and a longer operating life.

Many communities around the world still do not have access to safe drinking water. Even the simple act of burning wood to boil water generates an enormous amount of carbon dioxide emissions. So SABIC developed Villagepump 500, a patented, fully mechanical water pump that delivers 500 liters per hour of purified water that meets World Health Organization standards.

The pump acts simultaneously as a filter, providing drinkable water directly, without having to boil it. One pump can deliver over 2,000 liters of water a day, saving as much as a ton of CO2 emissions every day.

Villagepump 500 uses SABIC’s GELOY™ resin for its durable housing and glass-filled NORYL™ resin for its integrated, lightweight valve. GELOY provides lightweight, corrosion- and impact-resistant protection for outdoor weathering, while NORYL offers low moisture absorption, processability for complex shape parts and significant part integration. It is also compliant to potable water material requirements. The resulting product can be an instrumental tool for providing drinking water to communities in remote, developing areas.

The environmental and infrastructure challenges facing the world cannot be overstated. But innovative companies such as SABIC are creating new products and technologies every day for reducing carbon emissions, lowering energy use, improving the safety of our water supplies, increasing the comfort of our living spaces, and so much more.

Finally, SABIC will be showcasing at K its new campaign called “Talking Chemistry That Matters™”, a series of films, in which customers in various sectors highlight the successful collaboration between them and SABIC, creating “Chemistry that Matters™’. In this market, SABIC has been pleased to work on projects with customers such as Simona AG and Sekisui Alveo. SABIC has been a strategic value-chain partner to Simona ( for more than a quarter-century for the German firm’s portfolio of pipes and fittings. Their close cooperation has resulted in the development of new PP and PE grades, including a customized grade of a polyolefin with crack-resistant properties. And SABIC has collaborated for more than 20 years with Sekisui Alveo ( on innovative polyolefin foam development for high-end applications, which has opened the doors for both companies to new market opportunities not only in building & construction, but also in consumer and industrial products, and automotive.

SABIC offers a full portfolio of products to help address these challenges. To learn more, visit SABIC at Stand D42 in Hall 6 at K 2016 from 19 to 26 October 2016. For more information, please go to

1 Published by the United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2014). World Urbanization Prospects.

2 Lux Research, "Driven by Higher Rents and Values, Green Buildings Market Grows to $260 Billion," 2014.

3 McGraw Hill Construction (2012). World Green Buildings Study

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SABIC is a global leader in diversified chemicals headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. We manufacture on a global scale in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific, making distinctly different kinds of products: Chemicals, Plastics, Agri-Nutrients, Metals, and Specialties.

We support our customers in identifying and developing opportunities in key end markets such as Construction, Medical Devices, Packaging, Agri-Nutrients, Electrical and Electronics, Transportation, and Clean Energy.

SABIC recorded a net profit of SR 18.77 billion (US$ 5 billion) in 2015. Sales revenues for 2015 totaled SR 148.09 billion (US$ 39.49 billion). Total assets stood at SR 328.22 billion (US$ 87.53 billion) at the end of 2015.

SABIC has more than 40,000 employees worldwide and operates in more than 50 countries. Fostering innovation and a spirit of ingenuity, we have filed more than 10,960 patents, and have significant research resources with innovation hubs in five key geographies – USA, Europe, Middle East, South East Asia and North East Asia.

The Saudi Arabian government owns 70 percent of SABIC shares with the remaining 30 percent publicly traded on the Saudi stock exchange.

At SABIC, we combine a rich track record of doing what others said couldn’t be done, with a deep understanding of our customers. But our true impact is as a partner who can help our customers achieve their ambitions by finding solutions to their challenges. We call this ‘Chemistry that Matters™’.

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