06 May 2024
Building ‘Green’

In the ever-evolving landscape of construction, the adoption of sustainable processes and materials for creating structures has reshaped the industry. Driven by the goal of reducing human impact on the environment, architects and builders globally have increasingly embraced the Green Building revolution, focusing on creating energy-efficient and sustainable structures. Aluminium has been an integral component of this transformation, revolutionizing modern architecture with its sleek lines and myriad properties. Be it towering skyscrapers to small homes, aluminium is the material of choice owing to its light weight, durability, and recyclability.

Aluminium’s remarkable durability, which has a potential service life of over 80 years, enables it to withstand the rigors of extreme temperatures. Aluminium not only lightens the load borne by entire structures but also simplifies the process of achieving shape and form, granting architects the freedom to bring their visionary designs to life. For example, aluminium plates can offer the same stiffness as steel at half the weight, which significantly reduces foundational requirements and construction costs.

In the realm of construction innovation, aluminium formwork technology (known as Mivan technology) has emerged as a total game-changer. This system replaces traditional shuttering techniques in construction, allowing concrete structures to be erected faster, with greater precision, and less waste. Its robust yet lightweight panels not only halves the turnaround time for projects but are also reusable, slashing costs and environmental impact.

The architectural prowess of aluminium continues to shine in the design of towering skyscrapers, characterized by their floor-to-floor glass walls or glazed panes within aluminium frames. The metal significantly enhances the energy efficiency of any building by minimizing heat transfer and curtailing glare, thereby optimizing interior climate control. Integrating solar panels within these facades substantially reduces greenhouse gas emissions, thus lowering the environmental footprint of the building. Buildings certified under LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) often recognize aluminium as a key sustainable material, underscoring its growing prominence in eco-friendly construction practices.

Aluminium is also increasingly valued in seismic retrofitting, particularly in regions vulnerable to earthquakes. Its unique combination of strength and lightness makes it an optimal choice for reinforcing existing structures. Buildings can be made more resilient to seismic activity without excessively increasing their structural load, ensuring safety without compromising the integrity of the original architecture. This allows for the effective renovation of older buildings, enhancing their ability to withstand earthquakes with minimal alteration to their structural or heritage aesthetics.

Presently commanding a significant chunk of the construction materials market, aluminium’s prominence in building and construction is undeniable. Its role is amplified by initiatives like India’s Smart City projects, which are further propelling its adoption. Aluminium is sculpting the sustainable cities of tomorrow by perfectly merging functionality with environmental responsibility.