The low down on our low carbon aluminium
Blog, General News

The low down on our low carbon aluminium

As the UK’s largest privately owned manufacturer of aluminium doors, windows and curtain wall systems, here at Senior Architectural Systems we are always looking at ways to reduce the environmental impact of our business operations and support the move towards more sustainable construction.

One way we are doing this is through the ongoing development of our product offering to create fenestration systems that can help reduce heat loss from buildings. Another key area is the continuous improvement of our manufacturing facilities and processes, including the careful sourcing of the aluminium that is used to create our extensive product range. We announced back in July last year that we had made the move to using aluminium made from post-consumer scrap materials. Never ones to stand still, we have now refined our offering even more to incorporate aluminium with an even lower carbon footprint.

What’s new?

All our fenestration products will now be extruded using aluminium that contains more recycled materials and which generates lower carbon emissions throughout its production. These emissions are measured in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents and one kg of CO2 equivalents is comparable to the effect of one kg of CO2 emission. The aluminium we are using is below 4.0kgCO2/kgA – significantly lower than the global average and approximately a 35 per cent reduction in carbon compared to the 6.1kgCO2/kgA aluminium we were able to offer before.

How is the aluminium used by Senior sourced?

Here at Senior, we are committed to using only ethically and sustainably sourced aluminium extrusions and we are fully accredited to BRE Global’s BES 6001 Framework Standard for Responsible Sourcing. We are working with a number of leading aluminium extrusion companies that are reducing their reliance on fossil fuels and moving to renewable sources such as solar, hydro and wind to create less energy intensive processes to produce aluminium billets. We are also exclusively working with companies that can ensure the aluminium has a high recycled content.

Is aluminium fully recyclable?

Yes – one of the main benefits of aluminium is that it can be endlessly recycled with no detriment to its quality. Even though the aluminium we are using is already made from recycled scrap material, it can still be recycled and in fact, as well as reducing waste this can also help save energy. That’s because the secondary production of aluminium, which is when recycled material is melted down for reuse, requires significantly less energy than the primary production of aluminium from its ore. This contributes to lower carbon emissions during the production stage. At the end of life, all our products can be recycled again.

Which of Senior products will use this new low carbon aluminium?

All of our aluminium fenestration systems will benefit from this low carbon aluminium. and all of our products are manufactured here in the UK at our South Yorkshire facilities From our patented low U-value PURe® aluminium windows and doors to our slimline Ali range and our popular SF52 aluminium curtain wall system, our new aluminium will be used across the board. Will lead times or product performance be affected?

Not at all. We have already been using low carbon aluminium for a number of years now and we have robust supply chains in place to ensure that we can continue to meet demand and meet your project timescales. The only difference is in the way the aluminium we use is sourced and extruded and we feel this is in an important step in the construction industry’s ongoing journey towards reducing its carbon footprint.

What’s next?

Our journey towards Net Zero is also continuing and we are continuously reviewing our own processes so we can better support our customers in meeting their sustainability targets. This includes identifying further ways to reduce embodied carbon emissions during manufacture and support the greater recycling of old aluminium fenestration systems at the end of a product’s life. We’ll be sharing more details very soon so stay tuned on our website and on our social media channels!

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