There are many reasons that the building industry uses aluminium in construction in a variety of ways including cladding, walling, windows, doors and of course in temporary buildings. But why is aluminium so popular in modern architecture and so visible in our urban environment.
Aluminium is lightweight, making it easier than some materials to transport and handle, and it is strong and long lasting. For example aluminium was used for the windows installed in the “New University Library” at Oxford University, 70 years age. This was before the age of powder coating finishes so the aluminium was unprotected and allowed to oxidise naturally. These windows are still in service and a testimony to the longevity and corrosion resistance of aluminium.
There are other reasons, beyond weight and strength, for the popularity of aluminium in buildings, one being that it is ductile and can flex under loads and impact which makes it resistant to deformity. Although aluminium is resistant to corrosion it can accept various surface finishes like anodising or powder coating, which makes it ideal for decorative architectural designs. For those concerned with the environment aluminium is virtually infinitely recyclable. When it is reprocessed it requires little energy, making its conversion into other products cost effective and environmentally friendly.
Why we use aluminium
We use aluminium for the frames of our buildings and whilst its aesthetic benefits may be hidden form view, we do take advantage of its strength, light weight and flexibility to provide our customers with a useful and long lasting building to increase their operational space. Using aluminium means that a temporary building can be erected on hard standing without the need for extensive groundworks, unlike a traditional or steel building. Aluminium buildings meet the required structural standards for maximum UK snow and wind loadings and can therefore be legitimately used as an alternative to a more permanent building. Because our buildings are used primarily for industrial uses they have to be robust and the quality that aluminium gives is the ability to flex against loads and impact.
Using aluminium in a temporary building enables a modular design which means that it can be erected in a matter of days. With no ground works and a fast build means a building can be operational and ready for business in a short lead time. This is essential if a building is needed in response to a catastrophe like a fire or flood, in order that a business can carry on operating.
Because these buildings are designed to be erected and dismantled comparatively quickly, users can choose how long they need it for. For example a building may be required only for a short period to cope with fluctuations in seasonal demand, or to fulfil an unexpectedly large order. In these cases for example the building can be hired for a period, usually a minimum of three months, until it is no longer required, although the building may prove so useful that it could be kept in service!
The benefits of using aluminium in buildings are quite compelling. Lightweight, strong yet flexible and recyclable without great energy use, it is a material for the modern world.