Hydro Building Systems and Saint- Gobain Glass join forces to lead the market towards low carbon facades


Hydro Building Systems and Saint-Gobain Glass are joining forces to drive decarbonisation by helping the building industry design sustainable facades that have circularity built in. The two companies are leading the way through the use of low embodied carbon products thanks to a high percentage of recycled materials: specifically, Hydro Building Systems aluminium façade products manufactured from Hydro CIRCAL® 75R and the Saint-Gobain Glass ORAÉ® glass substrate.


Hydro CIRCAL® 75R, first launched in 2019, is a prime quality aluminium made with a minimum of 75% recycled post-consumer scrap aluminium. Hydro
CIRCAL® 75R has a carbon footprint among the lowest in the world: 2.3 kg CO2 per kilo of aluminium.

ORAÉ® is a new glass substrate with the world’s first lowest carbon footprint. According to its EPD, ORAÉ® has a verified carbon footprint value of 6.64kg CO2 equivalent per square metre (for a 4mm substrate), a reduction of 42% compared to the Saint-Gobain Glass European baseline clear glass. This has been achieved through the use of renewable electricity and a recycled content of 64%.

With a shared dedication to sustainable development, Saint-Gobain Glass and Hydro Building Systems, which includes the TECHNAL, WICONA, SAPA, and DOMAL brands, are committed to helping developers and specifiers create more sustainable, lower embodied
carbon buildings. Buildings are currently responsible for 39% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

According to a life cycle assessment study of façades, it is estimated that the embodied carbon of the building façade could be reduced by up to half by combining façade systems made from Hydro CIRCAL® 75R glazed with ORAÉ® products, such as the COOL-LITE® XTREME ORAÉ® solar control glass.

In addition, due to stringent emission regulations and the simple fact that the reserves of resources are slowly but surely being exhausted, the world’s interest in urban mining is increasing. Hydro Building Systems and Saint- Gobain Glass are separately investing in developing urban mining partnerships throughout Europe, in line with their circularity approach. Each company has implemented initiatives to collect and recycle end-of-life aluminium and glass, thus fostering circularity. This is what’s currently being done on a building renovation in France.

Finally, by investing in recycled and recyclable products and supporting circularity, building developers can not only lower the embodied carbon and create more end-of- life value for the building but also benefit from European financial support.

Marion Portenseigne, BU Glass Façade Specification Director at Saint-Gobain Glass said: “We share with Hydro Building Systems the same ambition to be leaders in light and sustainable construction. This partnership will enable us to increase the awareness of low carbon solutions for façades. This means common specification training for our specifiers to get to know the counterpart offer, then joint communication actions that started with BAU fair in Germany last April, and shared initiatives on specific projects to promote both solutions.”

Lucile Souyri, Sustainability Manager at Hydro Building Systems commented:
“For many years, sustainability has been a core part of our strategy as a business and the driving force behind our commitment to low carbon innovation. We are delighted to be able to work alongside Saint-Gobain Glass in setting a new standard and leading the way towards a more sustainable construction environment. Thus, our partnership includes the elements presented by Marion earlier, and moreover working together to ensure that glass and aluminium from end-of life facades will
be recycled. However, this will only be achieved through closer collaboration with teams of both companies involved, from the initial design stages to the completion of the building.”

Working in this direction, it is both companies’ ambition to continue developing partnerships with other stakeholders, deepen their research to develop increasingly sustainable products, and keep on leading the way by acting beyond regulations.

For more information about Saint-Gobain ORAE® visit https://www.saint-gobain-glass.com/products/ORAE