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“Aluminium Extrusion Material Compliments 50-100 Years Design Life of Building Façade”

By: Christian Witsch, Gulf Extrusions LLC

Please Elaborate on the Use & Benefits of Aluminium Extrusions Used as a Building Material, with a Focus on Whole Building Design, Sustainability and Application Possibilities.

The architectural building façade uses a wide range of aluminium extrusions. Architectural aluminium is mainly produced by an extrusion process, which provides nearly unlimited freedom in designing of simple to complex shapes suiting to the building requirements. This gives a great freedom to the architect to design pleasing elevations and forms by keeping functionality and sustainability intact.

Modern designs can be produced in 3 to 4 weeks’ time through die cutting and extrusion process. Aluminium extrusions being non-corrosive in nature, provide highest surface finish and possibility to enhance with the exotic finish applications like anodising and powder coating.

Double Skin Unitized System
Double Skin Unitized System

Aluminium extrusion material compliments 50 to 100 years design life of building façade requirements. Also, being non-corrosive in nature, it is lightweight, easy to handle and provides the strength to the steel. The material is completely recyclable for a number of times, highly durable, strong to withstand high wind loads and dead loads, and highly sustainable.

Anodising of aluminium extrusions also allows additional surface appearances, even the gold like shining is possible – the Dubai Frame is an excellent example of it.

The stiffness of aluminium doors, windows and façade solutions deliver the highest possible classes with respect to wind and water tightness. As a thermally broken solution, it also provides the excellent thermal as well as acoustical isolation performance.

Please Outline the Sustainable Characteristics of Extruded Aluminium Building Products.

Dynamic Facades Using Aluminium Extrusions Dynamic Facades

Due to its excellent formability and everlasting stiffness, aluminium windows, doors and façade solutions grant excellent tightness during longest utilization times. This makes a direct impact on the energy balance in cooling or heating of buildings. The modern thermally broken aluminium building products meet top performance values with respect to thermic and acoustic requirements.

Aluminium can be recycled endlessly with little effort and no loss of its excellent properties. The excellent corrosion resistance, especially of painted or anodized aluminium extrusions eliminate further repainting or maintenance during the usual lifetime of a building.

How has the industry Upscale in Terms of Technology in the Aluminium Extrusions Processes?

Bomb Blast Resistance Glazing
Bomb Blast Resistance Glazing

This is the time for the market to become increasingly important in our industry. To reliably meet even the tightest deadlines, Gulf Extrusions has spent lots of effort on optimizing the utilization of advanced material flow simulation. These simulations help us in cooperation with die suppliers to significantly optimize the die design even for the most complicated shapes. In this way, Gulf Extrusions is able to deliver these complex shapes to the customers in shorter time.

The surface hardening process of dies has been further developed, which allows the significant longer production runs with less re-treatment efforts.

As the Years Pass by, are There any Changes in the Certifications for an Extrusion Company to Function More Efficiently?

There has been a harmonization between ISO 9001, ISO TS (which is now an IATF), ISO 14001 and OSHAS 18001. This streamlining has led to a fully integrated management system. In parallel to this development, Gulf Extrusions has been implemented in accordance to the same structure, a new “INTELEX” quality, safety, environmental reporting system, which makes it very easy to register and manage any incident in a most efficient way.

Please Share New Technological innovations and Advancements in the Aluminium industry to Meet the Expectations of Modern Designers.

Swiss Clad 3-D Wall Cladding
Swiss Clad 3-D Wall Cladding

As mentioned earlier, the flow simulations for aluminium extrusions is a revolution offered by Gulf Extrusions. It is used to realize even for the most complicated shapes successfully in the shortest time possible. This gives nearly unlimited possibilities to the designer and shortens the project development time significantly.

Are There Any Challenges Faced by the industry, Post the UAE Fire & Life Safety Code?

Gulf Extrusions is in the process of certification of fireproof doors and windows, including partitioning walls. The requirements for this certification process became more demanding. We appreciate this development since it has lifted the quality and capability standard of these fireproof systems.

Please Present Solutions on How to Address Some of Today’s Building Design Challenges in Light of the Increasing Demand for Green Buildings.

Aluminium with its high strength and low-weight makes the entire building lighter. The properties of aluminium facade elements do not change over time and in this way, they maintain the excellent sealing performance over the entire life of the building. With the utilization of recycled aluminium (green billets), the life cycle assessment performance of a building starts right from the beginning with a lower initial production charge.

Swiss Clad Wall Cladding
Swiss Clad Wall Cladding

At the end of its life cycle, any aluminium based building material can be endlessly recycled without any loss of its excellent properties. Solar panels can be integrated with aluminium support constructions, which also improve the overall energy efficiency of the building, but does not significantly increase the weight of the building.

Smart shading solutions prevent the sun related overheating of the building, which lowers the energy consumption for air-conditioning.

Please Elaborate on Various Building and Construction Applications and Innovations Using Aluminium Extrusions.

Our partner Façade ONE Systems has come out with the highest level of innovations in lobby glazing using vertical aluminium extrusion fins. This innovation is replacing the use of bulky steel structure, making the lobby looks amazingly clean and vertical. The use of aluminium extrusion in dynamic facades make them very interesting architectural façade spaces.

Double skin unitized aluminium system brings highest architectural, thermal efficiency and acoustic efficiency.

The Swiss clad aluminium wall cladding system is completely non-combustible and most modern technology also provides 3-D architectural shapes.

How will you Relate the Holistic Applications of Extruded Aluminium Products to the “Whole Building Design” Concept?

As mentioned earlier, reduction of weight, better formability and shape-ability allows to develop better design solutions. As an example, Façade One entrance glazing, which allows bigger elements with no steel support construction. This allows a more elegant design with no steel support and higher performance! Double skin unitized glazing solutions provide highest aesthetics, thermal and acoustic performance. Use of 3-D screens in double skin lobby glazing makes it highly attractive and energy efficient.

Are There any Specific Challenges Faced for Commercial Buildings in Terms of Sustainable Buildings & Increased Security?

Skin With Screen
Skin With Screen

The new requirements are to be met for buildings with respect to the fire safety. Swiss clad wall cladding system is a 100% aluminium based cladding system and the non-combustible fire class A makes it safe for building.

The bomb blast resistant facade solutions from Façade ONE for high blast pressure, ranging from 15 kpa to 120 kpa pressure, provides high life safety to the building occupants.

How do you see the Current Domestic and Global Aluminium Extrusion Industry?

Due to the light-weight and excellent strength relationship, the use of aluminium is significantly increasing. In the building and construction industry, a wide range of smarter solutions have been developed, and they are contributing to a steady increase of aluminium extrusions in building and construction industry.

Also, electronic appliances are using more and more aluminium. This trend was initiated with the Apple I phones and Mac books, but it has been taken over by some more other brands.

What are the Upcoming Changes that you Foresee in the Sector?

Big changes are coming from the increased utilization of aluminium extrusions in the automotive industry. This has been triggered by the need for emission reductions and increasing range of electrical cars.

In the construction industry, the smarter solutions with better overall performance (ecological and energy) are gaining importance. Also, the better designs to minimize the fire risks are on the way.

Please Brief on Per Capita Industry Wise Consumption of Aluminium Extrusion. Which Sector Consumes More & Why? Whether it is Construction – Real Estate, Infrastructure, Automobiles/pre-fabs, etc.

Traditionally, the building and construction industries are our biggest customer segment and will always remain very important for us. In Gulf Extrusion, we have strongly developed our capabilities to deliver automotive products. The automotive share will grow from the 10% to 40 or 50% in 2 years.

Christian Witsch, Gulf Extrusions LLC

Chief Executive Officer

Christian Witsch Chief Executive Officer at  Gulf Extrusions LLC .

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