Life cycle analysis in Dutch aluminium façade industry

The construction industry is changing, with a shift from a supply-driven market to a market guided by demand. Decision-makers, such as corporations, project developers and investors, increasingly require specific demands with regard to sustainability. Sustainability is often expressed in environmental quality scores as provided by instruments like BREEAM-NL and Greencalc.

Much discussion is taking place within the Dutch construction market and the façade industry regarding these instruments, especially regarding the material weighting. Aluminium, for example, is generally labelled less attractive due to its energy consuming character resulting from the refining and conversion of bauxite to aluminium.

The Alu-Eco Foundation has specialized in the promotion of aluminium as sustainable façade material, and has initiated a project to assess and map the environmental impact (according to a LCA) of a number of windows. That way Alu-Eco intends to gain more insight in the composition and the realization of weighting a material. Ecofys assisted Alu-Eco in the interpretation of the LCA techniques applied in construction according to NEN 8006:2004. The goal was to make the LCA method comprehensible and to jointly identify points of improvement.


Jeroen Scheepmaker
Sustainable Industries and Services