Endurawood explores how aluminium can improve building project sustainability
As the built environment accounts for around 40 per cent of national energy use, and construction materials are responsible for 20 per cent of the UK’s carbon footprint, it’s no surprise that the industry faces growing scrutiny. Offering insight into construction’s carbon footprint, supplier of aluminium cladding, Endurawood, has released an infographic explaining why aluminium provides a sustainable material alternative.
To combat its emissions levels, the construction industry must make changes from the ground up. Although factors including thermal inefficiencies can contribute to the built environment’s emissions total, a key contributor is the materials used during construction.
Concrete is the most commonly used material in the construction industry, not only in the UK, but globally. However, for every tonne used, around 135 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2) are released into the atmosphere. Similarly, it’s thought that there are 100 million tonnes of steel used in the construction industry — another high carbon emitting material.
Besides initial production, material waste poses another problem with 100 million tonnes wasted each year. “When selecting building materials, the environmental impact of their production, use and end of life potential must all be considered”, said Nick Cowley, managing director of Endurawood.
“Quite rightly, the strength and safety of building materials are fundamental factors, but not all eco-friendly materials can provide these requirements. This is why steel and concrete are so heavily relied on”, explained Nick. “Aluminium, however, offers multiple strength and sustainability advantages.
“Aluminium can be recycled infinitely, without compromising its mechanical properties. This means it can be reused in the construction of buildings, while maintaining the same structural integrity, reducing the need to produce more raw materials.”
Endurawood supplies aluminium extrusions to residential, commercial and modular sectors, which can be used for numerous applications such as decking, cladding and fencing. The extrusions are coated in a wood-effect finish to replicate the natural appearance of wood. “We want to ensure that the products we offer contribute to lowering the environmental footprint of our customers’ projects,” explained Nick. “Even our wood-effect coatings are volatile organic compound (VOC) and lead free, making Endurawood even friendlier to use.
“I believe that aluminium offers the perfect balance of high strength and sustainability that the industry needs in order to reduce its emissions. This potential can often be overlooked, and we tend to rely on traditionally popular materials, despite their carbon impact. By producing this infographic, we aim to shed some light on this issue and place the spotlight on other material options.”
For more information on Endurawood’s products and their advantages, go to www.endurawood.co.uk/green-policy/.
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