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Sustainability

Schüco supports investors, architects, building consultants and partners in all project phases – from the initial idea through to dismantling a façade. This includes advice on certification, designs using sustainable systems, environmental product declarations and recycling the building envelope.

In the construction sector, sustainability means designing, constructing and operating a property in such a way that it is ecologically, economically and socioculturally future-proof. This requires high-quality, innovative and resource-conserving products and solutions. As a driving force behind innovation, here Schüco offers concepts and product solutions with the best possible support for investors, architects, building consultants and metal fabricators in all phases of a project. In practice, that means from the initial idea through to dismantling a façade – support including advice and designs with sustainable systems, environmental product declarations and recycling of the building envelope. At Schüco, this holistic approach orientated around the cycle of buildings is called »360° sustainability«.

Comparison of materials: potential for recycling aluminium, PVC-U and timber
The use of sustainable products and the use of materials with outstanding recycling properties which allow for dismantling at a later time and recyclability are important requirements for »360° sustainability«. Buildings are the raw material reserves of the future. In an independent study carried out by Drees & Sommer together with PE International, windows and façades made from different materials – aluminium, PVC-U, timber, timber/aluminium – were compared on the basis of sustainability criteria. The result verified by international experts is that, in terms of ecology, aluminium and PVC-U are as valuable as timber and, overall, yield equivalent results. The excellent recycling potential of aluminium and PVC-U as well as the characteristics of aluminium, i.e. durability, low running costs for the operation of the building and the range of design options combined with a low weight and high stability, are particularly positive.

360° sustainability – from the idea to recycling

Teel Lassiter - Heintges & Associates New York/USA

PROFILE: What aspects of façade design are most important to you?
Teel Lassiter: A façade must control the transfer of heat, air, and water for an energy-efficient building. In the US, however, building codes are often in conflict with sustainable practices. Double-skin façades, for example, are almost not permissible by local codes. Heintges & Associates enjoys figuring out how to work within the code to advanceenergy-efficient façade practices within the US and internationally. The impact of performance on design is unique to each building and climate, and requires the full attention of the architect. In temperate climates, we are seeing more architects integrate robust opaque assemblies in to their designs to improve the thermal performance of the façade.

Jörg Fischer - certified passive house designer PHl Fischer I Summerer I Andernach/GER

PROFILE: How important to you in construction is conserving resources, climate protection and protecting the environment?
Jörg Fischer: As a certified passive house designer, I'm delighted that many Schüco façade and window systems are now suitable for passive houses. I created my first passive house in the year 2000 – at that time, it was such an exotic endeavour. Now it has become a standard. Global players like Schüco that are now assigning this standard to all their systems make it easier to obtain certification on a large scale too.
PROFILE:The issue of cradle-to-cradle, i.e. a closed raw material cycle, could trigger the next wave of innovation.
Jörg Fischer: Under this aspect of recycling, we are thinking about new façade solutions, designs and constructions – with new materials, such as a metallic skin or separable´ products. That's why the Schüco approach is so good: providing complete façade solutions that make it possible to move away from the subject of traditional composite systems. The modernisation system would be of interest here and likewise the prototype for the Design Cover Concept – both could be ways to develop new recycling solutions with variable materials and covering surfaces within a framework system. If the used building components are fed unmixed into the manufacturing process again, then the cycle would be fully closed.

Gabriele Müller - architect GM Architektur, Kirchheim am Neckar

Sustainability and conservation of materials and resources – great buzz words in the construction industry

PROFILE: What role does the issue of sustainability play for you?
Gabriele Müller: For me, the materials used in products are important. At the same time, the manufacturing process also plays a role and it is important that the materials can be separated from one another once again and recycled at the end of their useful life.
PROFILE: In that case, do you welcome ecological products such as the “Green” generation of windows from Schüco?
Gabriele Müller: Products which are made from renewable and recyclable raw materials are in ever greater demand – also among clients. That could become a sales argument – though at the moment only for a specific group of people who are totally and utterly convinced by it. For most, budgets are still at the forefront of their thinking. But sustainability and responsibility are also key phrases in the construction industry, which is why there will be a lot of further developments in this area.