The environmental benefits of choosing aluminium doors and windows

One of the biggest reasons why homeowners increasingly choose contemporary aluminium window and door systems over uPVC and wooden designs is that it’s incredibly eco-friendly. In fact, you may well be surprised just how sociable this metal is. While the initial process of creating the aluminium glazing systems from our in-house machining facility is quite complex, aluminium can be melted down, bashed into shape and reformed incredibly easily; without losing any of its structural integrity.

Facts and figures on aluminium’s recyclability

  1. Recycling 1 tonne of aluminium saves 9 tonnes of CO2 emissions
  2. 1 tonne of CO2 is the equivalent of driving 2800 miles
  3. Recycling aluminium saves around 95% of greenhouse gas emissions compared to producing the 'raw' product
  4. The process is quick; an aluminium can you throw in the bin can be back on the shelf in 6 weeks
  5. Recycling half a kilo of aluminium saves around 7 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity
  6. Having been discovered in the 1820s, aluminium is the most abundant metal on earth
  7. Brazil recycles 98.2% of its aluminium can production beating Japan's recovery rate by over 15%
  8. Aluminium has a high market value and still continues to provide an economic incentive to recycle
  9. Over 8% of the earth's crust is made up of aluminium
  10. The melting point of aluminium is 1,220.58 degrees Fahrenheit (660.32 degrees Celsius)
  11. The boiling point of aluminium is 4,566 degrees F (2,519 degrees C)

BREEAM and the sustainability of your home

Sustainable buildings carry a multitude of benefits. You may be a landlord on the look-out for new tenants – did you know that sustainable properties are quicker and easier to let, cheaper to run and attract better quality tenants?

Alternatively, you might be a business owner wanting to communicate to employees, customers and the wider community of your commitment to minimising your company’s carbon footprint on the environment. Having a licensed organisation carry out a certified BREEAM assessment of your property or designs for new business premises can provide a clear indication of how sustainable your building is or will be. A BREEAM assessment sets a benchmark that demonstrates your progress towards corporate and organisational environmental objectives that can be shared with your stakeholders.

Sustainability begins with the initial design of any building. If you are in the process of designing a new-build property, a BREEAM consultation can benefit you in ascertaining the sustainability of your designs and the impact aluminium glazing systems can have on the overall performance of the property.

What is BREEAM?

BREEAM stands for Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology. It is the world’s leading design and assessment method for sustainable buildings. It has become one of the most comprehensive and widely known measures of a building’s environmental performance.
Sustainability is something we value highly in our aluminium glazing systems at Livingwood, which is why our entire product range is designed and produced to care for the wider environment.

What criteria does BREEAM use to assess a building’s environmental sustainability?BREEAM

  1. Energy
  2. Health & Wellbeing
  3. Materials
  4. Transport
  5. Pollution
  6. Management
  7. Land Use & Ecology
  8. Innovation
  9. Water
  10. Waste

Within each of the ten categories listed above, a five-point accreditation system is used to rate how well a building performs in its environment.

  1. Pass (30 credits)
  2. Good (45 credits)
  3. Very good (55 credits)
  4. Excellent (70 credits)
  5. Outstanding (85 credits)

These measures of performance are then set against established benchmarks to evaluate a building’s specification, design, construction and use.

How can our aluminium glazing systems improve your home’s sustainability?

For a cost-effective investment in the sustainability of your home or workplace, you must align your planning, contracting and supplier teams, from concept to development.

aluminium sustainabilityAs manufacturers of high-performance aluminium glazing systems, at Livingwood we now exclusively design and build Reynaers’ sustainable aluminium solutions for windows, doors, curtain walls and sun screening that increase the architectural value of buildings and enhance the living and working environments of our customers. Furthermore, we believe Reynaers’ systems contribute greatly to the overall sustainability of a building, achieving credits for building certificates such as BREEAM.

Energy is the most significant category within the BREEAM ratings system, totalling 28 credits. That’s why we only design and manufacture thermally broken aluminium glazing systems that keep the cold air out and the warm air in during the winter months.

Hi-Finity Sliding Doors: Ticking the boxes for ‘Health & Wellbeing’

If you want your building to rate highly on BREEAM’s ‘Health & Wellbeing’ criteria, why not consider our slimline Hi-Finity aluminium sliding doors? With ultra-thin sight lines creating practically frameless glazing, your living and working environments can be flooded with abundant natural light whilst simultaneously affording spectacular external views.

Our triple-glazed doors are also available in the ultra-sleek Hi-Finity design allowing you to stylishly achieve superb thermal efficiency and insulation in your property. The Hi-Finity is also excellent for use within zero-energy buildings as the panes retain heat effectively from passive sources – such as body heat, natural light and electrical sources – so that your building won’t need to use more energy than it can produce.

Alternative sustainability benchmarks for your aluminium glazing systems

BREEAM is not the only valid benchmark for measuring the sustainability of your building and its aluminium glazing systems. Minergie® and Passivhaus are also highly effective measures.

What is the Minergie® sustainability framework?

MinergieMinergie® is a European mark of quality which provides a clear benchmark of how sustainable your building is or can be. The framework is endorsed by the Swiss Confederation, focusing on the level of comfort for a building’s users. The Minergie® standards focus on high-grade building envelopes and the ability to continuously renew a building’s air supply.

There are three specific Minergie® standards that a building will sit within:

Regular - Minergie® standard
This is Minergie’s core standard, focusing on a building’s ability to maintain general energy consumption at no higher than 75% and fossil-fuel consumption at no higher than 50% of the consumption of such buildings.

Minergie® - P standard
The P standard focuses specifically on buildings with exceptionally low energy consumption. When designing new or refurbished homes or workplaces, it is important how your building generates heat because this standard is particularly demanding with regard to heating energy requirements.

Minergie® - Eco standard
The most substantial building sustainability standard set by Minergie®, it incorporates ecological requirements such as recyclability, indoor air quality and noise protection. Many of our aluminium glazing systems are capable of meeting this stringent standard as the aluminium we work with is infinitely recyclable and our glazing treatments can offer substantial acoustic protection for homes and workplaces.

Other sustainable aluminium window and door systems from Livingwood which can meet Minergie® standards include:

Reynaers Concept System CS 77 folding doors
This particular aluminium folding door system meets the highest European standards for thermal insulation, stability and security. Maximum door tightness is achieved via specially designed insulating strips, designed to minimise distortion of the element, caused by temperature differences between a building’s interior and exterior.

Reynaers Concept System CP-155 sliding doors
The CP-155 aluminium sliding door system carries the Minergie® label and is compliant with stringent requirements for airtightness, insulation and noise reduction. To that end, the CP-155 system contributes to insulation values less than 1.0W/m²K.

What is the Passivhaus building sustainability standard?

Passivhaus is another standard for benchmarking your sustainable practices, aiming to render traditional heating systems inessential through heating and cooling being managed by the building itself. Passivhaus is not a brand name, it is instead a building standard and construction concept for energy efficiency, comfort and affordability.

Only a select number of European window suppliers have achieved accreditation from the Passivhaus Institute and Dr Woolfgang Feiss. Certification is achieved by achieving U-values of less than 0.8W/m²K.

At Livingwood, we have a large range of aluminium window systems that are Passivhaus certified, in addition to inward-opening aluminium entrance doors and outward-opening French doors. With our experience over many Passivhaus projects, we are well-versed at working with clients, architects and Passivhaus certifiers to fine-tune PHPP data.

Note: Passivhaus is an entirely voluntary standard but it is one that greatly contributes to the European Union’s (EU) target of cutting energy consumption by 60% by 2050.

Are you serious about cutting carbon emissions and designing or redesigning more sustainable buildings? To discuss your sustainable aluminium glazing system options, please don’t hesitate to call our experienced team today on 01284 764045 or drop us a line for more information.