Green Buildings

Technal products were installed at the Leed-certified Warner Bros theme park in Abu Dhabi.

Technal products were installed at the Leed-certified Warner Bros theme park in Abu Dhabi.

Technal thrives on sustainability

June 2017

Sustainability is at the heart of its business ethos, says Technal which focuses on providing effective solutions that produce long-term results over a building’s lifecycle. These solutions have been designed considering every aspect – from raw material sourcing to demolition, right up to the reuse of materials in new projects, according to the leading global aluminium systems provider.

In the world of construction, sustainability is not only about thermal efficiency of a product; it includes the sourcing, processing and manufacturing of a product as well as the optimisation of its entire life span, states the France-based Technal, which is considered a worldwide leader in building solutions.

A building designed to be sustainable not only focuses on the comfort and health of its occupants, but also drastically reduces the use of energy, water and raw materials needed throughout its entire life cycle, Technal points out.

Also, a sustainable design brings little or no additional costs (from 0 to 15 per cent), which is more than offset by savings on running expenses, improved well-being, increased productivity and higher property value, the company adds.

Technal systems are made of aluminium, which is environment-friendly: it is abundant, recyclable, long-lasting and practically maintenance-free. This corrosion-resistant material offers many technical benefits that make it a natural solution when it comes to improving building sustainability, environmental impact, as well as living and working conditions. Also, with 75 per cent of aluminium produced since the 1880s still in use, and recovery rates of aluminium from buildings being around 95 per cent, there is little to no risk of exhausting the supply of this valuable ore, Technal points out.

Aluminium is 100 per cent recyclable and remelting it requires only five per cent of the energy needed for primary aluminium production. Also, the resulting recycled aluminium has the same excellent properties as the primary metal. 

“More than 50 per cent of Technal’s total production is based on recycled aluminium. We offer a range of profiles and products that are extruded from recycled aluminium. To take full advantage of the material’s recycling potential, our remelting capacity has been increased,” Technal says. 

Technal sources its raw material from Sapa group, the world’s biggest local aluminium processor, which has a vast and efficient network of factories, greatly reducing the need for long-distance transport and the associated costs.

Technal’s focus on sustainability extends to its production processes, according to the company: “At Technal, decreasing our carbon footprint is part of our daily policy. In recent years, we have considerably improved the energy efficiency of our operations and reduced waste. Our company installs and uses the most efficient extrusion presses to ensure the highest material quality, while reducing our energy needs. 

“We constantly monitor our environmental performance in terms of energy consumption, water consumption, emissions, waste volume and noise levels.”

Technal also aims at minimising the use of chemicals in the raw aluminium production process, keeping a close eye on compliance with local regulations. Finally, it ensures that no harmful products are used in the finished fenestration goods, as the products do not require mould treatment nor do they feature plastic or resins products that could release dangerous gases during their lifetime or in the event of a fire. Also, Technal ensures a neutral surface treatment for both anodising and coating and there are no solvents containing VOCs (volatile organic compounds) used in powder coating. 

Once installed, these aluminium building products do not present a hazard to occupants or the surrounding environment, and do not have a negative impact on the indoor air quality or on surface or groundwater.

This apart, with buildings worldwide accounting for 40 per cent of total energy consumption, Technal systems provide the necessary insulation with features such as thermal breaks to reduce energy consumption from heating and cooling. 

 

A VIP lounge in the podium of the headquarters complex.

Jebel Akhdar Resort ... a Leed-certified Technal project in Oman.

Holistic approach

Sustainability, however, requires a holistic approach, hence Technal supports its integrated solutions with advice to building owners, architects, planners and contractors to ensure comprehensive solutions.

Through close cooperation with its customers, Technal develops efficient and eco-friendly products that appeal to a wide range of market segments. Its designs anticipate future changes in building regulations to give them the longest possible life with minimal revisions. 

Technal’s façade systems have been developed with a thorough understanding of all the challenges involved. Using standard solutions as the basis, it is easy to integrate products such as opening units, solar protection, infill panels and low-emission curtain-walling glazing, Technal adds.

“Whatever your objective – whether zero-energy construction, passive house or achieving stringent technical requirements, Technal offers solutions to make the whole construction more sustainable,” the company says.

One of its façade solutions is the all-new Spinal MY65. With a design based on a 62-mm module (a 52-mm module will be added soon) and a specific assembly system, the Spinal facade maximises the possibilities for new and renovated buildings. Its large glazed surfaces can reach up to 12 sq m, offering a transparent envelope that gives creative freedom to architects. 

The Spinal façade combines essential architectural criteria and high performance in accordance with current and future regulations (RT2012, RT2020, BBC, Passive House...), Technal stresses. 

Technal’s product ranges have been designed and developed to address customer needs in meeting green and sustainable building standards including Leed (Leadership in Energy and Environmental design) and Breeam (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method).

Its systems have already helped a number of regional and global projects achieve high ratings in these accreditation systems. 

In the Gulf, Technal products have been used on a number of Leed-certified projects in the UAE, including Mankhool mixed-use building, Othman Building in Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC) and Hameni Tower, a 27-storey residential building with four podium levels in Dubai, and Warner Bros theme park, Masdar Neighbourhood Residences and Al Maraya Central in Abu Dhabi.

Technal projects in Oman that have been Leed-certified include the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC), as well as two hotels at the OCEC precinct, namely JW Marriott and Crown Plaza Hotel, the Jebel Akhdar Resort, City Hotels at Shatti Al Qurum, all of which are Omran projects, and the PDO School at Ras Al Hamra.

Its Leed-certified projects in Qatar comprise the male and female students housing for Qatar Foundation, the JK 1 Cultural Centre at Msheireb Heart of Doha and the College of Engineering, Qatar University.

Globally, the Sabadell Bank Headquarters in Barcelona, Spain, which features windows with Technal’s concealed sash Unicity, has a Leed Gold rating. The solution used for the façade allows ventilation of the offices and reduces the energy consumption while protecting them from solar radiation. All the windows have solar protection such as adjustable and orientable louvres. 

Meanwhile, the Canada Water Library in London, UK, has achieved a Breeam ‘very good’ rating. For this project, Technal’s glazing systems – namely its MX SSG structural sealant glazing, MX visible grid curtain-walling, MX top-hung concealed vents, PXi doors, CD commercial doors and FXi65 tilt/turn casement windows –were specified by the architects.

Technal’s MX SSG structural sealant glazing, MX visible grid curtain-walling and MX sloped glazing were also installed at the CitySpace facility at the University of Sunderland in the UK, which has achieved a Breeam ‘excellent’ rating. 

Technal solutions also go way beyond minimal requirements for passive housing, which comprise super-insulated buildings which focus on minimising all sources of energy loss. Excessive heat is controlled through shading, window orientation and active ventilation. This results in a system that can save up to 90 per cent on traditional heating costs, the company says.




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