Page 36 - Respond 2016 Magazine
P. 36



       street light

       poles ahead                                                      

       in green race                                                              By Christine Nash
                                                                                  Director / CEO Metrosmart
                                                                                  Director / CEO Polestar

       A simple switch from steel to aluminium lighting poles can save
       energy, costs and will last for a century.

       Since the commercialization of aluminium in 1851, 75% of   weight, yet makes 1/3 less product than aluminum and uses 70%
       aluminum ever produced is still in use either in its original form or   more energy in its life cycle. One ton of aluminum produces 3 times
       as recycled product. It is the most common element on earth and   more product than one ton of steel. In 2015 the United Nations
       along with glass is the greenest sustainable and most recyclable   presented 17 Sustainable Development Goals and it was agreed
       product in history. In comparison iron is the fourth most abundant   by 195 Nations at the COP21 Paris agreement to combat climate
       element on Earth, comprising about 5% of the Earth’s crust by   change with these suggested global goals.

                                                            Two of those goals are linked to business and industry:
                                                            1) Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and
                                                            2) Partnerships for those goals.

                                                            Historically street light poles were made either from timber or
                                                            steel. In most parts of the world both are still used. There are vested
                                                            interests at play such as the steel manufacturing plants as well as
                                                            consultants who have specified the steel pole for so many years they
                                                            see no reason to change. The hip pocket of the contractors is the
                                                            other vested interest as there is more money to be made out of the
                                                            cheaper steel galvanized and or painted pole than from the more
                                                            expensive anodized aluminium street light pole. Municipalities and
                                                            local governments have a lot to gain from switching to aluminum
                                                            anodized street light poles as they only have to pay for them once in
                                                            100 years whereas a steel pole has only a twenty five year life cycle.

                                                            Unfortunately this is in conflict with the interests of the contractors
                                                            who stand to gain a bigger profit from buying a cheaper product
                                                            on which they can put a bigger profit margin particularly when
                                                            that product will require regular maintenance and replacement
                                                            which the aluminum pole does not. So if the contractor cannot
                                                            be given financial incentives to buy aluminum instead of steel
                                                            poles it needs to be so legislated or specified by consultants and
                                                            then the authorities, be they the Roads & Transport Authorities
                                                            or Municipalities need to act on their advice. Happily, this is now
        Aluminum with LED strips on the length of the       occurring more and more frequently across the developed and
        spine of the poles, Education City, Doha, Qatar.    developing nations.

   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41