aluminium & sustainability
This report by CAB sets out the credentials for aluminium as a sustainable material, useful in the construction of contemporary architecture. In its primary form aluminium is a high-energy product, it has a high embodied energy. However, designers and specifiers over the past 40 years have learnt to consider the selection of materials carefully, beyond fashion and first cost. Using a little of a high energy material wisely and purposefully is a more sustainable strategy than the ideological selection of materials. When preparing a specification it is essential to consider the responsible sourcing, effectiveness, durability, and the potential recycling of any material. BioRegional in its report on the Bedzed housing development, designed by Bill Dunster Architects, noted that:
“The embodied energy of a material needs to be considered over the lifespan of the material, for example aluminium is a highly durable material with a long lifespan of [over] 60 years and therefore is an appropriate solution … despite its high embodied energy.”
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