Within Europe the construction sector accounts for 50% of material, 50% of total energy use and 33% of water use. As the evidence around climate change points to the need for decisive and urgent action, the construction sector faces a tricky balancing act. How to drastically reduce consumption in the face of steadily increasing demand?
In the early 2000s, the UK and Irish galvanizing industry took part in a radical reappraisal of the role of galvanizing within sustainable design and its consistency with environmental policy and practice. The resulting publication, ‘Galvanizing in Sustainable Construction: A Specifiers’ Guide’, has been a blueprint for the sector ever since.
However, in the intervening two decades, understanding around sustainability has grown and inevitably revised. It is now clear that a sustainable construction sector will be aligned with the key principles of a circular economy, which demands reduction in waste and a fundamental re-evaluation of how valuable raw materials and products can be kept in use for as long as possible.
Linear models of development and construction, which allowed for limited lifespans and the disposal of materials at end of life, are being phased out. In their place we aspire to adaptable design which focuses on increased lifespan, reduction of maintenance burdens, demountable structures, and design that prioritises remaking and reassembly.
In response to these revised goals, the UK and Ireland Galvanizers Association have collaborated with EGGA, the European General Galvanizers Association to outline how galvanizing sits within the new circular framework.
The resulting publication Galvanized Steel and Sustainable Construction – Solutions for a Circular Economy outlines the role galvanizing plays in keeping buildings, infrastructure and resources in use for as long as possible, and how as part of a circular construction model, galvanizing can help manage growing global demand in the face of low carbon goals.
This publication is now available as a download on our website. It has been produced to give clear technical information for construction professionals and showcase the best of circular building projects from across Europe.