It’s well-known that aluminium has long been a favourite material for architects, designers and specifiers. Valued for its versatility, strength (particularly compared with its weight), and sleek aesthetic; it has become a mainstay in our homes and buildings for good reason.

Unfortunately, traditional aluminium production methods come with a hidden environmental cost. Thankfully, Alspec, a leading architectural products company in Australia, has introduced GreenCore – a revolutionary low carbon aluminium option that offers a sustainable path for architects and designers without compromising on performance.

The environmental impact of aluminium production

Most aluminium is produced through electrolysis, which requires vast amounts of electricity to be effective. And because a significant portion of Australia's electricity grid still relies on fossil fuels, particularly coal, this means that for every kilogram of aluminium produced using traditional methods, somewhere in the vicinity of 13 kg of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere. Considering roughly 1.5 million tonnes of aluminium is mined in Australia every year, this translates to a substantial environmental footprint.

A sustainable breakthrough

With GreenCore, Alspec has made a huge breakthrough in sustainable aluminium production, offering a dramatic reduction in its carbon footprint. Instead of relying on coal fuel infrastructure, GreenCore aluminium is produced using much lower carbon intensive energy sources. This shift in energy sources significantly slashes the CO2 emissions associated with production.

The results are impressive. GreenCore boasts a significant reduction in CO2 emissions – down to 8 kg CO2e per kg of aluminium. The metric, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), is a universally recognised measure for assessing the global warming potential engendered during the production process. For Alspec’s Ultra GreenCore®, that metric comes down to 4 kg CO2e. Obviously, reductions like this translate to a significant environmental benefit – specifying GreenCore for a building's facade could potentially eliminate the carbon emissions associated with tens of thousands of kilograms of traditional aluminium.

GreenCore: Performance without compromise

So, GreenCore's sustainability credentials are undeniable. But a crucial question remains – does this shift in production impact the performance of the final product? The answer is reassuring: GreenCore aluminium maintains all the desirable qualities that have made aluminium a mainstay in architecture and design.

It offers the same strength, durability, and workability as traditional aluminium, meaning it can be readily used in all existing applications – from lightweight cladding systems to structural components. Architects can continue to specify aluminium for its clean lines, low weight, and excellent weather resistance, all with the added assurance of significantly reduced environmental impact. And to top it all off, GreenCore is available in the full range of colours and finishes, ensuring incredible design flexibility alongside its environmental benefits.

Innovation for a sustainable future

The development of GreenCore represents a significant step forward for sustainable architecture. By offering a low carbon alternative with no compromise on performance, GreenCore empowers architects and designers to make environmentally conscious choices without sacrificing design intent.

Looking ahead, GreenCore paves the way for a future where high-performance and sustainability go hand in hand. This shift towards low carbon aluminium has the potential to transform the construction industry, making it a major contributor in the fight against climate change.

The adoption of GreenCore by architects and designers sends a powerful message – that beautiful and functional buildings can be constructed with a deep respect for the environment. With GreenCore, architects can have confidence that their designs are not only aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound, but also contribute to a more sustainable future for our planet.