30% of the UK’s regulated waste comes from construction. Some of this is generated at fabrication stage, some on site during building, and a good proportion during demolition. The UK government is keen to reduce waste throughout industry in general, and to reduce or abolish the use of toxic or environmentally damaging materials and potentially hazardous waste. Because aluminium is 100% recyclable and non-toxic, the metal has a valuable part to play in improving the environmental performance of the construction industry.
Whole life costing
Increasingly the costing of a project demands that costs be considered for the whole life of a building. Aluminium’s physical properties mean that once installed it will last longer and require less maintenance than steel,timber or plastic alternatives, resulting in genuine whole life cost savings.
As a direct result of aluminium’s non-toxic, long lasting and recyclable attributes, it has a positive effect on an individual or commercial carbon footprint, bringing the use of aluminium gutters directly into the 21st Century.
Aluminium is non-toxic, safe to handle and there are no health problems related to its use. Aluminium’s natural oxide does not affect the acidity of water falling upon it,therefore water run-off from aluminium roofs and claddings is a non-toxic substance that will not harm animal or plant life. The process used in Stormguard’s powder coating is not solvent based, and the final run-off has been fully tested and approved as clean.
Aluminium is one of the world’s most abundant elements, it is almost infinitely recyclable and rightly considered amongst the most sustainable of the world’s resources. Extraction is carried out in an environmentally considerate manner with old mining sites being restored. Smelting is generally carried out using renewable hydroelectric power. The amount of embodied CO₂ is low compared to other construction materials, and unlike many other materials where the energy used to create the material is lost, the energy used to smelt aluminium is effectively invested and 95% of it will be reused when recycling.