Building Envelope blog posts
Sustainability over generations
Jyrki Kesti | Sep. 24, 2020
Nowadays, building contractors and designers are looking for more and more construction products with low embodied carbon, which means the product itself has a low carbon footprint.
This is a good approach. But we should always look at the entire lifecycle performance of the building product, and ensure that it fits with the building and contributes to its performance.
In an optimum case, the production of the building product should consume a low amount of resources and have low embodied carbon content. In the use phase, the product should be long lasting and easy to maintain. The product should enable easy modifications to the building, and the building product should help the building to consume as little as possible external energy, thus decreasing the use phase carbon footprint.
Even if we are planning buildings for 50 to 100 years, we should still consider the next generations and take responsibility for building products’ end of life. The products should be easy to dismantle and recycle – or even reuse if the building is dismantled before the end of the products’ technical service life. All material should be utilised as raw material to produce new products and avoid landfill waste.
The sustainability criteria mentioned above are met nicely in Ruukki® Life Energy panels, for example. Our energy panel concept means better airtightness and lower energy consumption for the building, with no impact on embodied carbon compared to standard panels. Ruukki® Life panels’ insulation consists of more than 70% recycled glass, which has a low environmental impact. Combined with durable coatings, this makes our panels environmentally friendly, and they are designed to last for decades.
Sandwich panels are very easy to install and uninstall to enable building modifications. Steel is a valuable material that can be effectively recycled at the end of life. It is also possible to utilise insulation as raw material for new insulations or other products with mineral fraction.
What a perfect sustainable building solution!