The wide variety of surface finishes and colours available, such as anodizing or coating, ensures that the high aesthetic demands made by architects can be fulfilled and the application potential of aluminium can be extended even further. Such processes also serve to enhance the material’s durability and corrosion resistance, as well as providing an easy-to-clean surface. Maximizing the transparent areas of windows through the use of slender frames can also contribute to optimizing such solar gains. This increase in natural lighting is definitely beneficial for the occupants’ comfort and well being, while it also reduces the need for artificial lighting, contributing significantly to the building’s sustainability.
A significant volume of waste building materials go to landfill sites, at a cost to both the economy and the environment, others are recycled at a cost to the community. Aluminium however, is recycled in a way that pays for itself. Aluminium components can usually be recycled in a single process using up to 95% less energy than the primary production process. As almost all aluminium used in construction is recycled, the considerable energy invested in the production of primary aluminium can be reinvested into other aluminium products. Scrap may not necessarily be recycled back into its original product or even reused in the country in which it was first manufactured but the original energy investment will not be lost.