The sustainability of Aluminium

Aluminium has a long life-span, is light weight, highly formable, and very durable. Along with this it is arguably the most sustainable building material in the world. It combines corrosion resistance and recyclability to have positive impact on the environment.

Aluminium is the third most abundant material in the world. There is about 400 years worth of reserves of aluminium but when you factor in its recyclability it becomes an inexhaustible resource(1). The bauxite mines in which aluminium is created from also has an 83% rate of rehabilitation which means the land will return to its original condition after being mined. (2)

There is approximately 400 million tonnes of aluminium currently being used in structures around the world. 95% of this is able to be completely recycled and reused requiring only 5% of the energy that was needed for original process (3). None of the physical properties of the aluminium are lost in the process resulting in a material that’s lifespan is close to infinite.

Throughout the duration of this long lifespan the durability of aluminium results in material that requires little to no maintenance. This reduces further its environmental impact as it prevents toxic substances required in maintenance from entering the waste stream. 

By using aluminium products, you are choosing a material whose production has minimal long term impact to the environment, it is sustainable in terms of hundreds of years and endlessly recyclable. Aluminium can rightly be said to be the ultimate building material and the building material of choice for the future.

Tim Introna

About Tim Introna

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