As the environment and climate change remain a topic on everyone’s lips, it’s important to understand the sustainable properties that inherently exist in many commonly used metals. The wider metal industry is currently implementing a range of emission-reducing changes, such as using sustainable energy and relying on recycled materials, but some metals have fundamental qualities that make them surprisingly renewable. Alongside metal’s lightweight, durable and long-lasting nature, consider these sustainable attributes.
Aluminium is often called the ‘green metal’ because its infinitely recyclable characteristics mean energy usage can be slashed by 95% compared to when first produced from raw materials. Meanwhile, aluminium has a wonderfully long lifespan, rated at around 60 years for use in the construction industry.
This metal is also remarkably lightweight, meaning the energy required to transport aluminium internationally is far less than other everyday materials. Plus, it’s highly durable and resistant to corrosion, ensuring aluminium survives rough conditions that might otherwise require a replacement.
Copper has also developed a reputation in the construction and design industry for its sustainable properties. With this material often used in roofs, gutters and wall cladding, as well as stylish fixtures throughout the interior, copper has become a popular choice amongst world-renowned architects because it’s 100% recyclable.
Copper is also a notably long-lasting product that requires extremely little upkeep to maintain. Like aluminium, it’s also incredibly lightweight, so it’s cheaper to use and requires less energy to get onto a job site. Alongside some unique antimicrobial qualities that make copper resistant to bacteria, moulds and viruses, this metal is a standout choice.
Steel might not be the first material that comes to mind when considering sustainability, but it actually has some eco-conscious properties that reduce its impact on the world. For one, steel is the most recycled material of any kind, yet it doesn’t lose any of its structural benefits when it goes through this process.
While steel does take considerable energy to produce and transport, its supremely durable nature means it can stand the test of time for over 50 years when used in construction. As steel can withstand poor conditions for decades, the lifecycle of this metal is virtually unmatched.
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