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The importance of sustainability in building is now firmly established in the UK construction industry and as part of a corporate Schueco initiative known as ‘Thinking Ahead’, Schueco UK Ltd is launching two new aluminium systems, the FW 50+.SI Green Façade and the AWS 90.SI+ Green Window, that support the concept.
Available in the UK later this year, these systems take as their starting point the fact that buildings consume about 40% of all the energy we generate and are ultimately responsible for the majority of harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
Schueco’s response has been firstly, to increase insulation levels still further so that both new systems can achieve up to PassivHaus standards, thus decreasing a building’s energy needs dramatically. Secondly, the company is turning to the natural world for the raw materials needed to manufacture key components in the new systems.
The Schueco AWS 90.SI+ Green Window, for example, incorporates bio-polyamide isolator bars and an insulation zone filled with PUR bio-foam (a constituent raw material for both these features being derived from the castor-oil plant). In addition, it has a bio-EPDM glazing rebate gasket manufactured from a sugar-cane base.
The Schueco FW 50+.SI Green Façade also utilises renewable raw materials in components such as gaskets and pressure plates which, nonetheless, have the same technical and structural properties as those in the super-insulated Schueco FW 50+.SI Façade.
All these bio product components are officially DIN certified and since aluminium is 100% recyclable, with known reserves of its raw material – Bauxite – being estimated to last for at least 300 years, these new ‘green’ systems are properly sustainable.
Indeed, Schueco UK sees both systems as being pioneers in a new generation of building products that will not only reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions, but will also fully satisfy the ecological criteria of the environmental lobby.