Recycling of Aluminum Building Products

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Article updated on 02/03/20 by Ben Pilkington

Aluminum is increasingly used in construction because of its unique properties, some of which include:

  • Strength
  • Durability
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Recyclability

The aluminum industry, together with the construction industry, is committed to sustainable building and responding to environmental challenges in the future.

Aluminum into the Next Generation

The aluminum industry endorses sustainable building at every stage:

  • Manufacturing – Energy efficiency of primary aluminum production and its fabrication processes is continually improved through the development of new technologies and the continuous improvement of existing plants. Bauxite resources, though abundant, are conserved because end-of-life aluminum products are recycled.
  • Use – Aluminium building products make buildings lighter, use fewer raw materials, are longer lasting and more efficient as a result of low maintenance requirements.
  • End of life – Recycling aluminum building products is an economically self-supporting process, which contributes to the costs of dismantling and demolition as a whole. The aluminum industry has an efficient, economical and environmentally sound recycling system which ensures that aluminum can be reused time and time again, saving both raw materials and energy.

Aluminum is Part of the Solution

As a result of its unique characteristics, aluminum can play a pivotal role in achieving sustainable building.

  • Architects and designers are keen to develop new building concepts to meet the environmental challenges that the world currently faces.
  • Traditional demolition can be substituted with dismantling and recycling when projects are completed using aluminum building systems.
  • Existing buildings can be refurbished using aluminum building systems, often with a net saving in the total amount of aluminum used.
  • New buildings, using lightweight aluminum structures and facades, significantly reduce the number of materials used in construction. Furthermore, the need for heavy supporting structures is also diminished, which provides savings on both costs and resources by the end of the building’s life.
  • Continuous investment in new technologies means that the aluminum industry leads the way in product design and energy efficiency.

The Aluminum Industry Supports Sustainable Building

The aluminum industry supports sustainable building objectives, actively contributing to this by:

  • Integrating the concept from the production stage – The industry is active in reducing energy consumption and minimizing emissions without compromising the material’s durability, strength and advantageous qualities. The overall aim of the aluminum industry is to maximize the performance of the end product while minimizing the need for resources.
  • Increasing overall sustainability of buildings – The industry is already committed to strengthening the energy efficiency of aluminum’s applications, such as when incorporated into window frames, and developing products which are even lighter, yet just as efficient.

Source: The European Aluminium Association.

For more information on this source please visit The European Aluminium Association.

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