The Aluminum Association, based in Arlington, Virginia, has released a new guide that outlines aluminum’s exclusive properties for use in building and construction, as well as data on the metal’s life cycle characteristics and environmental performance.“Aluminum in Green Buildings: A Guide to Green Building Development and Certification with Aluminum Products” is intended to assist and support aluminum end-users—architects, designers and engineers—in understanding how aluminum contributes to green building development and achieving certifications, such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification program, according to the Aluminum Association.
The association says key information in the guide includes:
- aluminum’s unique properties and building applications;
- aluminum building products and systems that contribute to credits for LEED v4 certification;
- North American aluminum’s life cycle environmental performance (Environmental Product Declarations); and
- The North American industry’s sustainability strategies, metrics and major achievements.
“The aluminum industry is committed to advancing the sustainability efforts of its customers through the use of aluminum,” says Heidi Brock, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association. “The Green Building Guidelines will allow the industry’s building and construction end-users to make informed decisions about using one of the greenest, most innovative materials in their projects today.”The Aluminum Association says the guide is based on key requirements of the current, most commonly adopted green building certifications systems and construction codes. The Green Building Guidelines guide elaborates how those requirements can potentially be met or exceeded through the use of aluminum products and systemic aluminum solutions. The guide incorporates the most up-to-date understanding of aluminum’s technological solutions to challenges of the building and construction industries, according to the Aluminum Association. Additionally, the results of the aluminum industry’s extensive sustainability research and studies are featured, the group says.
Lightweight, strong and infinitely recyclable, aluminum products can help lower energy costs and carbon emissions in building and construction applications, according to the Aluminum Association. Properly coated aluminum roofs can reflect up to 95 percent of sunlight, helping improve building energy efficiency. Aluminum framing systems and curtain walls can accommodate highly insulating glass and enhance the balanced functioning of heating and cooling, the association says. This allows for the systems to serve as the best solution for building energy efficiency improvements and “net zero” energy performance, the group adds.
The Aluminum Association says it represents U.S. and foreign-based companies and their suppliers throughout the value chain, from primary production to value-added products to recycling. The association is one of the industry’s leading voices, providing global standards, business intelligence, sustainability research and industry expertise to member companies, policymakers and the general public. The aluminum industry helps manufacturers produce sustainable and innovative products, including more fuel efficient vehicles, recyclable packaging, greener buildings and modern electronics.