Glass facades with one of the industry’s greenest alloys becomes standard solution

Print 29 Nov 2019

The aluminium building system company Sapa is once again demonstrating its focus on sustainability by using Hydro’s aluminium alloy CIRCAL with the highest recycled content on the market for its glass façade solution Sapa 4150. Now, the first building contractors are using Sapa solutions with this alloy, with already some interesting projects in Norway, Belgium and The Netherlands. 

In 2018, the Norwegian group Hydro, owner of Sapa, launched its new Hydro CIRCAL 75R aluminium alloy. The alloy consists of minimum 75% post-consumer scrap from façades and windows that have been dismounted from buildings and fully recycled. It is the prime quality alloy with one of the highest amounts of recycled post-consumer content which is currently available on the market. “Contrary to the aluminium solutions generally available on the market, which are promoted with recycled content, our approach of the Hydro CIRCAL 75R does not focus on process scrap but on the end-of-life material," explains Alexandre Bistes, Brand Director at Sapa. Thanks to Sapa system solutions using Hydro CIRCAL, aluminium scrap is recycled back into the production cycle (urban mining). Remelting aluminium for new uses requires only 5 % of the energy needed to produce primary aluminium. The higher recycled content of post-consumer scrap, the lower the carbon footprint. Hydro CIRCAL 75R has the smallest CO2 footprint worldwide: around 2.0 kg CO2 (1.5–2.3 kg CO2) per kilo of aluminium – 6 times or 84% less than the worldwide average for primary extraction. 

The first orders for Sapa using this alloy are now being carried out, with one of the very first being for Oslo's most forward-looking building, Økern Portal, a sustainable community project between industry and the local community in a commercial building that offers everything from flexible office space to restaurant and cultural experiences for employees and residents of the area. The building is being built by Oslo Pension Insurance and will be completed in 2020. The glass facades on the first and second floors are designed as standard curtain walls and H-Fasader Glassteam AS will supply, among other things, 3000 square meters of exterior curtain walls of Sapa 4150 with Hydro CIRCAL.  

“Being involved in realizing this building is interesting for us. We want to be a sustainable supplier and the launch of the Sapa 4150 façade with Hydro CIRCAL came very appropriate in relation to this project and became a natural choice for us as a Sapa manufacturer”, says Paal Østhus, project manager from H-Fasader Glassteam AS: “In addition, there are many other factors that play a role when it comes to sustainability in this project. It is “Breeam Excellent” certified and has in general, a high demand on recycling.” 

One of the aluminium industry’s most sustainable companies 
Hydro is the first aluminium producer supplying prime quality end-of-life recycled aluminium with a certified content of more than 75% recycled post-consumer scrap. Scrap shredding and sorting takes place at a dedicated facility in Dormagen, Germany. The plant then sends the metal to the remelting plant in Clervaux, Luxembourg where Hydro CIRCAL 75R billets are produced. The production process is fully traceable, and the product is certified by an independent third party (DNV-GL).  

“From February 2020, the glass facade Sapa 4150 will be delivered with CIRCAL as the standard solution. With this profile system, the metal builder can supply different types of curtain walls; passive house, fire proof and in many different design variants”, explains Johan Strand, Sales director at Hydro Building Systems, region North and adds that “more products from our range of Sapa system will shortly follow”.  

Ambitious European emissions targets 
In the European Commission’s sustainability targets, all new buildings are to operate at net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and by 2050 all buildings must operate at net zero carbon. With the looming climate crisis and stricter regulations, the industry needs to adapt. With Hydro CIRCAL 75R, Sapa enables building owners and architects to meet tomorrow’s highest sustainability targets already today – including green building certifications such as LEED or BREEAM.

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