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How metal plays a role in sustainable architecture

Supplier: Locker Group
22 September, 2014

The terms "green" and "sustainable" tend to come with certain typical associations.

We might think of parks, lush vegetation and timber products, but certainly not something like perforated metal or industrial wire.

But what if it could be used as a sustainable material?

As industrial materials specialist Locker Group explains, metal can indeed be just as sustainable as the next material. As a strong proponent of its use, Locker Group aims to design its products to conform with the standards of sustainability the modern world demands.

Green architecture

While the concept of "green architecture" still seems to have arrived freshly on the scene, it has been around for a lot longer than the average person might realise.

According to Philip J. Tabb, professor of architecture at Texas A&M University, and Senem Deviren, assistant professor of architecture at Istanbul Technical University, the concept of sustainable architecture came about during the 1960s.

It was during this and the following decade, when the environmentalist movement got off the ground and such ideas became engrained in the popular imagination, that concepts around environmental protection began to be applied to design, too.

A global concept

Over the last two decades, sustainability has become a core feature of architectural products and thought. Sustainable design has been incorporated into high-profile projects like the Findhorn Ecovillage in Northern Scotland and New York City's High Line, while universities such as Australia's own University of Sydney offer a master's degree in sustainable architectural design.

The Australian Institute of Architects, the representative body of Australia's architecture industry, today works "with a range of professional and industry partners on initiatives to advance the sustainability of the built environment", according to its website.

It is clear that, nowadays, sustainability and improving the environment are considered a core function of architecture.

Conserving energy

Some architectural designs conform to sustainability by using green spaces, while others use recycled building materials.

However Locker Group says its approach is all about helping to facilitate a lower energy use.

Locker Group's perforated metal products, such as its Atmosphere Facade, provide shading for building interiors, blocking the sun's rays from filtering into spaces while still providing visibility. This can reduce the impact of solar energy by up to 78 per cent, while also minimising the need for costly and energy-intensive appliances like air conditioners to run all day.

According to the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics, energy consumption in Australia is estimated at 5884 petajoules and has been growing in states like Western Australia and Queensland. This, coupled with the gradual depletion of natural resources, makes conserving energy an even higher priority.

Fortunately, Locker Group's architectural products ultimate goal is to do just that, while also remaining visually appealing.

You might find they save you a bit of cost, too.