Aluminum’s rise to fame in architecture and engineering came about when the Empire State Building was constructed in the early 1930s. Before this, using the material was uncommon due to concerns about the cost. However, innovations made in manufacturing and production opened new possibilities for aluminum to be used in architecture and engineering. Considered to be one of the first icons of sustainability in building green, the Empire State Building elegantly established how aluminum can be used in major structures. Whatsmore, it showcased its unique properties and capabilities made possible by advances in production such as extrusion.
During its construction, 730 tons of aluminum and stainless steel were used. In fact, the infamous relief of the skyscraper which can be seen at the west end of the lobby, and the celestial ceiling mural located upon entering the Fifth Avenue entrance are made of aluminum leaf and 23-karat gold.
Other Industries that can Build Green Using Aluminum
Another sector that is geared towards building green is the automotive industry. In a 2020 study conducted by DuckerFrontier for The Aluminum Association, car manufacturers are now shifting to incorporate 514 pounds of aluminum into the average vehicle by 2026.
The demand for aluminum in the automotive industry is on a rising trajectory due to the lightweighting solutions it provides to automakers. Lightweighting is key in developing high-precision vehicles using multi-material components. It makes production more economical, and environmentally friendly in addition to enhancing the energy efficiency, handling, and overall performance of ICEs (internal combustion engines), and BEVs (battery electric vehicles) of today.
“The aluminum industry is keeping its foot on the pedal, developing solutions aimed squarely at addressing automakers’ most pressing needs to offset mass given added content and weight from new features, additional safety needs, and the move to electrification. Aluminum will record relentless year-over-year growth through 2030,” said Abey Abraham, managing director, of DuckerFrontier.