Environment using 50 built works from 1895 to 1986, with four historic exemplars being inspected and presented in depth. Twelve twentieth-century award-winning
and historically significant aluminium-based buildings were inspected, leading to the successful non-destructive testing of aluminium finishes on three of these projects.
Aluminium and Life Cycle Thinking
Life cycle thinking challenges architects, engineers and contractors to be mindful of the life history of any manufactured product and more specifically, to understand the
inputs (energy and water) and outputs (emissions to the environment) that result from the transformation of matter into product and from product to disposal. This
report uses Life Cycle Assessment, a modelling method, to quantify and compare the environmental impacts and benefits associated with aluminium building components
to those associated with alternative materials.
Aluminium Recyclability and Recycling
Aluminium is almost infinitely recyclable and this is well understood. This research identifies that aluminium-based projects dating back to 1950 that have been disassembled
have all been recycled. 1950 is the first year of entries in IAI’s global mass flow model. The research reviews the reasons why buildings are demolished and rates of material
recovery at the end of use. Key examples of short life and relocatable architecture are set out, alongside the future role of Design for Disassembly [DfD]. This research also
identifies that there is a much wider up take of cast aluminium components in architecture than may have been expected.
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