Aluminium ‘in the ascendancy’
By Jeremy Phillips, group chairman of CDW Systems.
As specialists in aluminium fabrication, we have witnessed first-hand the rapid rise of aluminium and Insight Data’s most recent ‘State of the Industry’ report showing the number of aluminium fabricators increasing is no surprise.
According to the data, there are now 921 aluminium fabricators, which is up from 884 in 2021. In fact, it continues an upward trend since 2017 and 801 fabricators, showing a steady rise every year since.
When you consider that, during the same period, there has been a continued decline in the number of PVC-U fabricators, from 1,407 in 2017 to 1,177 today, it shows that there is no sign of the popularity of aluminium slowing down.
After the home improvement boom in the years that followed the pandemic, the market has slowed due in no small part to the economic outlook and the cost-of-living crisis. One thing that has not changed is the demand for aluminium.
Despite the economic downturn, homeowners with money will always still spend it and it’s no surprise that installers are looking to diversify and offer consumers higher end options such as aluminium bi-fold doors, sliding patio doors and heritage windows, so they can tap into that market.
There are, of course, plenty of factors driving the popularity of aluminium, not least its sleek, and minimalist aesthetic appeal. Whether it’s for windows, doors or curtain walling, aluminium offers an elegant and contemporary touch that never goes out of style while its adaptability to various finishes enables a wide range of colour and texture options.
Its unique combination of lightweight properties and exceptional strength has led to its adoption in a wide range of industries, making it perfect for commercial projects.
Energy efficiency is a major concern in modern construction and fabrication and aluminium’s inherent thermal properties allow for the creation of thermally broken systems that significantly improve energy performance and help reduce heating costs, contributing to sustainability and energy savings.
Durable and highly resistant to rust and the corrosion caused by modern industrial pollutants, aluminium requires very little long-term maintenance too.
With the shift towards sustainable materials more significant than ever, aluminium will play an increasing role thanks to its sustainability and recyclable credentials.
It is arguably the most sustainable building material in the world and is almost endlessly recyclable, with the recycling process creating high quality aluminium which loses none of the physical properties of primary aluminium.
Recycling aluminium saves 95% of the energy required to produce aluminium from raw materials and, being light weight, aluminium is easy to handle which reduces the environmental impact and cost of transportation.
Aluminium’s remarkable longevity and resistance to corrosion mean it can endure harsh weather conditions for decades, ultimately reducing the need for frequent replacements and giving aluminium products a life span that can be measured in decades rather than years.
It’s no surprise that the number of aluminium fabricators is rising year-on-year, with the popularity of high-end aluminium products providing plenty of opportunities for installers in the UK, both commercially and residentially.