Certified recyclable product systems: Our contribution for more sustainable construction
57 certified Schüco systems
Building means thinking years ahead. Buildings which we design today determine how future generations will live and work. Properties that are inspired by the Cradle to Cradle® design principles fulfil the standards of tomorrow today while also functioning as a valuable raw materials stock.
The Cradle to Cradle philosophy is the basis for circular product developments at Schüco. When it comes to implementing the C2C-principle in the construction sector, Schüco leads the way with 48 systems already certified with Silver status. All C2C-certified systems from Schüco are available as standard at no additional charge and already meet the standards of tomorrow. This also means that C2C-inspired properties maintain their value better than conventional buildings.
“We need to rethink sustainability if we want to shape the future of our planet in a positive way. Cradle to Cradle thinks in terms of "more benefits" rather than "less damage". To this end, C2C aims to produce intelligent products which are circulated infinitely in technical cycles without loss of quality.
The construction industry can take a leading role in this paradigm shift. The building sector accounts for around half of material consumption worldwide. We should use this fact as an opportunity to innovate and drive forward the development of products that are truly recyclable.”
A revolutionary concept
Nature was the inspiration for the groundbreaking design concept of the two forward and lateral thinkers, Professor Michael Braungart and William McDonough. The C2C philosophy views all materials to be nutrients in closed biological or technical cycles. This approach goes far beyond conventional notions of recycling, as the materials retain their quality and there is no waste.
Cradle to Cradle products and production processes require radical new thinking and comprehensive, forward-thinking planning – from production out of raw materials and the usage phase through to dismantling, processing and reuse as raw material. There must be proof that all materials used are free of pollutants and produced using renewable energy so that they are safe and do not harm people or the environment.
Cycles play a central role in the Cradle to Cradle concept. There is the biological cycle for consumable goods and the technical cycle for durable goods. Consumable goods are exposed to continuous wear during their life cycle and should therefore also be 100% biologically degradable. A biologically degradable plastic used as a starting material for a product poses no risk to the environment – it circulates as a nutrient in a continuous biological cycle. In contrast, durable goods are not subjected to any such wear, and this includes many Schüco products. Additionally, a lot of the required raw materials are only available on Earth in limited quantities and their quality must therefore be consistently high so that they can be fed back into the technical cycle without a loss in quality.
In order to achieve certification in accordance with the Cradle to Cradle Certified® Product Standard, products are assessed against five extensive criteria. All criteria are weighted equally, however the material health is given particular importance. If a material contains substances on a banned list, certification will not be granted. In each assessment criterion, one of five certification levels can be achieved: Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum. The results are recorded on a scorecard. The overall result for a product is based on the weakest criterion assessed.
The health and safety of humans and nature must be guaranteed. To this end, manufacturers should record the substances and assess their toxicology, adhere to limit values and forbidden substances, and substitute problematic substances.
Manufacturers are required to manufacture products with high reutilisation potential. To this end, it is necessary to provide proof of good recyclability, encourage a high proportion of secondary raw materials and implement return processes.
The aim is to use renewable energies. To this end, manufacturers should record greenhouse gas emissions, use renewable energies for production and further processing or balance out the emissions caused by energy consumption with certificates.
It is important to have a fair and conscious approach to managing water use. This requires a strategy for handling water responsibly, water audits and the removal of water supply and quality problems
Human dignity and the integrity of natural systems should be respected. To this end, in-house or third-party audits need to be carried out, social problems in the supply chain rectified and positive impact strategies implemented.
Schüco Systems with Cradle to Cradle Certifications
Schüco Systems with Silver Certification
Schüco Systems with Silver Certification
48 Schüco systems have C2C Silver certification: 31 window systems, seven mullion/transom systems, seven door systems and three sun shading systems. You can download the certificate and our product sheet (pdf, 156.1 KB) here.
AWS 50 NI
FWS 35 PD.HI
AD UP 75
ALB large louvre blades passive
AWS 57 RO
AD UP 75 BL
ALB C-/Z-louvre blades
FWS 50 S.SI
AD UP 90
CSB (Concealed Shaped Blind)
AWS 65 RL
FWS 50 SG.SI
AD UP 90.SI
AWS 65 SL
ADS 70 HD
AWS 65 MC
FWS 60 SG.SI
ADS 75 HD.HI
AWS 65 BS
AF UDC 80
ADS 90 FR 30
AWS 65 WF
AWS 70 RL.HI
AWS 70 SL.HI
AWS 70 ST.HI
AWS 70 BS.HI
AWS 70 WF.HI
AWS 75 RL.SI+
AWS 75 BS.HI+
AWS 75 BS.SI+
AWS 75 WF.SI+
AWS 90 BS.SI+
AWS 120 CC.SI
AWS 65 VV
AWS 70 VV.HI
AWS 75 VV.SI+
AWS 90 VV.SI+
AWS 90.SI UZD
AWS 75 SI+ RAG
AWS 65 NL
AWS 90 AC.SI
AWS 120 AC,SI
Schüco Systems with Bronze Certification
Schüco Systems with Bronze Certification
Nine Schüco systems have C2C Bronze certification. These are two window systems, three façade systems, three sliding systems and one door system. You can download the certifiation and our product sheet (pdf, 157.8 KB) here,
FWS 60 CV
ASS 77 PD.HI manual
ADS 90 FR 90
AWS 114 SG.SI
AF UDC 80.HI
AF UDC 80.SI
“Since the beginning of the century, we have been concentrating on the issue of what architectural solutions for sustainable buildings might look like. Our considerations have since stretched far beyond the original core issue of energy efficiency: the increasing scarcity of resources requires a holistic consideration of buildings in their lifecycle.
In 2008, the DGNB (German Sustainable Building Council) developed its certification standard, and with it the most comprehensive system yet for sustainable building in the context of ecological and socio-cultural aspects. We have been working actively and formatively with the product advisory board ever since it was founded. In this way, we have been focusing on the responsible treatment of resources from an early stage. A core idea in this regard is the closed-loop circulation of construction products.
The Cradle to Cradle design concept combines these principles in one system. For us it was therefore a logical step to apply the C2C standard to our modular window and façade systems and design them to be adaptable and recyclable.”
Certified Cradle to Cradle Façades
Sustainable planning made simple
Every building is unique. Architects and planners therefore need solutions that allow them to plan and configure their building projects in a flexible way. The Schüco modular system is the ideal basis for creating individual combinations of window, door and façade systems – and keeping full control of costs and quality in the process.
Schüco achieved Bronze C2C certification for its modular system back in 2016. This means that certified articles can be used to put together entire production line with the C2C Bronze standard. The C2C modular system had Silver certification since 2018. 48 systems are now certified to the high C2C Silver standard.
SchüCal: Design software SchüCal introduces the modular system to modern planning practice, allowing individual window, door and façade combinations to obtain C2C verification. SchüCal also quickly checks all Silver-certified Schüco systems to see whether there is a C2C-compliant configuration. At the touch of a button, it generates environmental product declarations, U value calculations and CE Declarations of Performance. This gives façade developers and architects complete design freedom and reliability for planning a sustainable building envelope.
Building Certification: C2C-certified products are viewed positively by the LEED and DGNB (German Sustainable Building Council) building certification systems. Moreover, the certification can be used as a supporting document in many other green building standards. Schüco supports architects, investors and fabricators with detailed documentation on the current certificates.
The first buildings
The first C2C-inspired building in Germany is the RAG headquarters on the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Zollverein coal mine in Essen. It is fitted with the Schüco AWS 75.SI+ aluminum window system with Silver certification. The individual window units are designed so that they can be fully recycled if the building is demolished or converted, making a zero-waste façade a reality.
Learn more about the story behind the RAG headquarter.